Management transfer of info tech Park underway

Kathmandu, November 2:

The High Level Commission for Information and Technology (HLCIT) has begun the process of handing over the management of the Banepa-based IT Park to the private sector. The transfer is in line with the government policy of handing over the management and operation of the Information Technology (IT) Park to the private sector. The government is also revising the IT policy 2000.

The budget speech for the fiscal year 2006-07 states, “Private sector investment will be encouraged in the IT Park by providing special concessions. Private sector will be entrusted with the responsibility of operation and maintenance of the park.”

“In order to draw optimum benefits from this park, all stakeholders must work together and contribute towards developing a Strategy Development Plan, which will make the management transfer process easier,” Mahanta Thakur, Minister for Environment, Science and Technology, said at an interaction in the capital yesterday.

However, the HLCIT officials say they are not satisfied with the ‘quality’ of the proposals they have received so far. “We will encourage those companies that have international tie-ups and the experience to run the park,” Manohar Bhattarai, a member of the HLCIT, told THT. “At the same time, we have to offer a lucrative package to the incoming company first. The HLCIT is currently developing a strategic plan to this end.” The HLCIT also sites political instability, poor road infrastructure and discouraging overall investment climate as the main challenges. The upcoming 11-hour load-shedding schedule is going to be another major problem.

Speaking at the programme, Dr Madan Pariyar, member secretary of the HLCIT, said, “Innovative responses are required to make the IT Park functional once again and interaction with key stakeholders is important to come up with a sustainable operation modality for the park.”

The Park, which was built at the cost of Rs 280 million to promote IT exports by create an infrastructural base and conducive physical, knowledge-based and technological support system, has been lying idle since the erstwhile occupant of the park, a Netherlands-based software company, citing problems like dismal traffic conditions, frequent strikes, dysfunctional internet connectivity and poor support system, decided to relocate its facilities outside the Park premises seven months ago.