THT 10 years ago: EU resumes suspended projects here

Kathmandu, June 2, 2006

The European Union (EU) today resumed all suspended projects worth 17 million Euro in Nepal, and expressed interest in assisting the peace process here.

“We are resuming the energy project worth 10 million Euro and a project on conflict mitigation worth 7 million Euro,” said Herve Jouanjean, the visiting Deputy Director General of the European Commission to Nepal.

He also said the European Union was working on the next country strategy paper and a significant amount of aid will be made available to the country.

Jouanjean, who will wrap up his visit tomorrow, also said he had discussed with government officials about the possible contributions of the European Commission (EC) on the provision of peace-building support to Nepal.

“The European Commission has proven experience in areas such as election monitoring, promotion of human rights, post-conflict reconstruction and rehabilitation,” said Jouanjean.

He said he also conveyed messages to the government in support of the ongoing transition to full-fledged multi-party democracy, the establishment of an effective democratic government and efforts aimed at lasting peace.

“We will certainly examine the request and all possibilities (of European Union’s assistance in ceasefire monitoring), if asked for,” he said.

The EU already contributes 80 per cent of the budget of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Kathmandu.

Public enterprises’ losses up

Losses, of the public enterprises in recent years, have surged to register Rs 5.92 billion.

The losses, according to a recent report of the ministry of finance’s (MoF), has amounted to Rs 5.48 billion from 23 public enterprises till the fiscal year 2001-02.

“The recent increment in losses is comparatively more,” states the report. Udayapur Cement Factory which has registered a profit of Rs 8.4 million in the fiscal year 2001-02 has in recent times done so badly and resulted in a loss of Rs 130 million annually, states the report issued by the government.

Similarly, Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has recorded a loss of Rs 4.5 billion in the current fiscal year. Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has also registered a loss of Rs 1.41 billion in the current fiscal year.

Government’s share capital and loan investments in the public enterprises stood at Rs 23.43 billion and Rs 52.97 billion, respectively in the fiscal year 2001-02.

The investment in the following years have surged to Rs 59.6 billion and Rs 51.77 billion, respectively.

NOC had a cumulative reserve of Rs 5.24 billion in fiscal year 2001-02 but it has turned into cumulative loss of Rs 11 billion at present, states the government’s report.

NOC’s liabilities to different financial institutions and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) have reached Rs 4.44 billion and Rs 5.75 billion.