Nepal | June 18, 2019

Security plans for foreign investment projects on anvil

Govt in bid to boost confidence of investors

Rewati Sapkota

Kathmandu, March 9

The government has decided to establish a police post to provide security to Arun III hydel project and is preparing to take similar security measures for other mega development and hydel projects, including Upper Karnali hydel project.

The government’s decision is aimed at quelling the threat of Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal, which has recently intensified terrorist activities and extortion drive in various parts of the country.

Only yesterday, CPN cadres abducted a member of Sudur Paschim Province Assembly Devaki Malla.

The 900 MW Arun III hydel project is located in Sankhuwasabha district and is expected to earn Nepal handsome revenue. India’s SJVN is the developer of the $1.4 billion Arun III hydel project. The SJVN had signed the project development agreement with the government on 24 September 2014.  Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi had jointly laid the foundation stone of the project last May.

The government has also intensified its crackdown on the Chand-led party after it set off an improvised explosive device at the Ncell office in Lalitpur, killing one and injuring two. Recently, police have seized modern weapons from CPN-cadres.

According to sources at the Ministry of Home Affairs, the government is preparing an overall security plan for the existing and upcoming development projects. The source also said the government’s action of providing security to development projects was aimed at winning the confidence of foreign investors who are scheduled to attend the Nepal Investment Summit on March 29 and 30.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has been gathering intelligence to analyse security threats to development projects.

“The government is serious about dealing with the security threat that development projects may face. We will devise a security plan on the basis of the categories of projects and the size of industries,” a source quoted Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa as telling his party leaders.

“Security policies will be prepared as per the intelligence collected by the agencies concerned and the inputs of experts,” Thapa told his party leaders.

The government has already set up quick response teams, which could be sent to troubled spots within 10 minutes. The government has already established police posts in all 753 local levels.

Security agencies suspect that CPN cadres stole and hid some weapons, including some M-16 rifles, from the Maoist cantonments before conclusion of the army integration process. In a recent video message, Chand had said his party was preparing the ‘concept and structure’ for the formation of a strong ‘People’s Liberation Army’.

In a meeting held at the home ministry after the recent Ncell blast and arson incidents, top officials of Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and National Investigation Department said the government should be clear about how it wanted to deal with the Chand-led group so that they could take appropriate action against it. They also told the ministry to make it clear whether the government treated the CPN as a political outfit or something else.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had recently said that the Chand-led group was trying to mar the environment for Investment Summit.

The government has sought foreign investment in various fields, including agriculture, industrial sector, tourism, transport, urban development, energy, education and health, to promote export. The government is planning to pass investment-friendly laws during the current session of the Parliament.


A version of this article appears in print on March 10, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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