Politics should be able to infuse enthusiasm among investors: President

Kathmandu, April 25: President Ramchandra Paudel has said that politics should be able to infuse enthusiasm among the investors for the country’s prosperity.     

Inaugurating the Himalayan Hydro Expo 2024 here today, he expressed that there are ample possibilities of Nepal, a country rich in natural resources, to achieve prosperity through the rapid development of energy. He believed that this is possible through the facilitation and coordination of the Government of Nepal and the investment from the private sector. The theme of the Expo is “Green Energy for Prosperity”.     

“Politics should be able to infuse motivation in the investors. I feel the Government of Nepal should facilitate through Acts, laws, policies and rules while the private sector should increase the investment taking the nation’s interest and prosperity as supreme for this,” said the Head-of-State.     

Noting that with the adoption of federalism Nepal has been moving towards political stability along with the highest exercise of democracy and this has created the condition for increasing attraction for domestic and foreign investment, he made it clear that what the country is looking for after the federalism is progress and prosperity.     

“The Government of Nepal has been attaching special priority to the energy sector, taking it as the main basis for Nepal’s economic prosperity. As a result of this, the increasing production of power in Nepal, which had suffered from an energy crisis at one time, has been boosting the nation’s energy security. Nepal is transforming from an energy-importer country to an energy exporting nation,” the President added.     

Stating that he thinks that the increased power production in the country is playing a positive role in the economic sector of Nepal through electricity trade by ending the dependence on power import, he expressed it is a matter of satisfaction that Nepal can contribute to the increase in the use of renewable energy through the export of clean and green energy to the regional markets of neighboring countries.     

“I think that the contribution of the private sector along with that of the Government of Nepal is important in this. The energy production and export is increasing. This is a matter of happiness for us. I also feel that Nepal has achieved this success due to the collaboration, coordination and partnership between the Government of Nepal and the private sector,” President Paudel said.     

According to him, this situation has come with the involvement of the private sector in investment in and construction of green energy, especially after the reinstatement of the multi-party democracy.     

Referring to the fact that the Government of Nepal has already signed an agreement to export electricity to the neighboring country India and has set a target of producing 15,000 megawatts of electricity by the year 2085 BS, the President said that both the government and the private sector have equal responsibility in this regard.     

He mentioned, “Investment-friendly environment is a must to achieve the goals. I want to suggest the government to remain constantly active to create such an environment.”     

President Paudel said building an investment-friendly environment for domestic and foreign investors without any hindrance was the responsibility of the government and expressed the belief that there would be a significant contribution on the overall economy of the country as such environment would make the private sector further excited.     

The President shared that it was laudable to organise the Himalayan Hydro Expo by Independent Power Producers’ Association Nepal and Expo and Event Management Services Pvt Ltd on the eve of the investment summit.     

“It helps to bring all stakeholders involved in the energy development sector at one place and inspire them to move ahead for the same as well as to build an opportunity of collaboration and moving ahead together,” he stressed.     

President Paudel called on all domestic and foreign investors to move ahead joining hands in green energy development.     

Similarly, Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Shakti Bahadur Basnet, mentioned that there is immense potential of the development of hydropower in Nepal and it is the important basis of the country’s prosperity.     

The government has brought an action plan to produce 28,700 megawatts electricity in the coming 12 years.     

He insisted the need of bringing about ample foreign investment in the country by ensuring a maximum utilisation of resources available within the country. As the Minister said, the Electricity Bill which is presently under discussion in the parliament will be endorsed soon. New Electricity Act in the offing is expected to be a support in the hydropower development and the enhancement of investment in this sector.     

The government will further facilitate for land acquisition process, site clearance and other procedural hurdles, he said.     

 According to the Minister, the issues concerning environment conservation and the mitigation of climate change have emerged in a challenging way.     

President of Independent Power Producers Association, Nepal (IPPAN), Ganesh Karki, shared on the occasion that Rs 1300 billion has been already invested in hydropower projects. The area for hydropower development has played a significant role in economic growth and jobs creation, according to him. He said over 500,000 citizens including manual workers are presently employed in this sector.     

Commending Nepal’s recent success in power exports, Karki projected a further increase in the country’s power exports and urged the government to enact policy and procedural reforms to attract more foreign investment in hydropower, citing its positive impact on local development.     

In a video message, Canadian Ambassador to Nepal, Cameron MacKay, called for promoting the hydropower sector for Nepal’s prosperity. He pledged Canada’s support, offering its skills, knowledge, and experiences for the development of hydropower projects in Nepal.     

Mohan Kumar Dangi, IPPAN’s Senior Vice President, advocated for prioritizing domestic power consumption over exports. The Expo is scheduled to conclude on Friday. (RSS)

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