The government is planning to bring a Energy Crisis Act that can address energy crisis and expedite hydropower generation.
The Act will guarantee the security issues and encourage investors construct the hydropower projects in war footing, said Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai speaking at his official residence here today.
Energy is the key to propel economic growth and the government — to achieve double digit growth as it is not satisfied with the current sluggish growth — will also increase current Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA) of the projects that could be completed by next couple of years, he said, adding that the government's plan will help expedite some 2,500 MW hydropower projects. “We are planning some incentive packages and tax waiver too."
The energy producers have been asking the government to revise the PPA of some projects, due to rising cost.
The Indian power producers GMR and Sutlaj will also get the government green signal soon, he added.
Defending his much ambitious 'Immediate Action Plan for Economic Growth and Prosperity' that he brought on Thursday, he said that it was a symbolic message that there is still hope and let's not be hopeless.
“We need investments — both foreign and domestic — to fuel the economic growth," said the UCPN-Maoist ideologue, who is planning to attract $1 billion in six months. “The domestic investment is not enough for the double digit growth, though we have abundant natural and human capital."
The government is clear on its economic policy though, there might be some confusion due to intra-party feud in the UCPN-Maoist, he accepted.“Economic growth is supplement to the peace and Constitution.
"Growth with employment and social justice is the main object of the government with sectoral focus on agriculture, tourism, energy and infrastructure, the premier clarified. “But without transformation in the traditional agriculture that contributes one third to the GDP and employs one third of the population, it's not possible to achieve growth.”
The government proposed 14 projects of national pride will get the necessary budget from transferring the budget after the second four-month's evaluation meeting, he vowed, though he could not clarify implementation of these projects. The successive governments’ programmes remained in the paper gathering dust due to lack of effective implementation.
NAC to get aircraft
KATHMANDU: The government is committed to buy aircraft for the ailing national flag carrier, said Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai. “The Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) will also see management overhaul," he said, adding that the new aircraft will give boost to the tourism industry. Tourism can create employment and help propel growth but due to lack of aircraft and political bickering in the national flag carrier, the country could not benefit from the rising number of tourists inflow.
No subsidy on petro products
KATHMANDU: The Prime Minister also said that the government will not provide subsidy on petroleum products. The current system could not last long as the government is mulling over promoting alternatives energy sources and adjusting the prices of petroleum products. The subsidy on petroleum products that is imported makes no sense, he said, adding that there is no alternative to the price adjustment according to the international market.