Sunday, June 3, 2012

Norway shows interest in hydropower

Norway has shown interest to invest in hydropower projects in Nepal as the the country is facing acute power shortage.
Norwegian investors are interested to develop hydropower projects in Nepal, the Scandinavian country's International Development Minister Heikki Holmas said in a meeting with caretaker finance minister Brashaman Pun here at this office today. "Norwegian have special interest in Kirne (68 MW) and Tamakoshi III," he said. Holmas also suggested Pun to develop a General Electricity Planning to accelerate energy projects.
The country has been facing up to 14 hours nationwide load shedding since last three years.
"Nepal should get constitution in time and move toward economic development," he said, adding that peace along with law and order is prerequisite for the development.
In the meeting, Pun thanked Norway for its support in hydropower, education and establishment of peace in the country.
Finance Secretary Krishnahari Bastoka informed the visiting minister of Investment Year 2012-13 and asked help in attracting foreign direct investments. "We have investment law and policy to attract foreign investors," he said, giving examples of hydropower sector and Investment Board that has been set up to attract investors as an one-window solution.
According to him, hydropower developers can get full tax exemption for 10 years and half for the next five years to encourage both domestic and international hydropower developers.
"The banks and insurance sector have to pay 30 per cent tax followed by 25 per cent by entrepreneurs, 20 per cent by industries and 15 per cent by the exporters," Baskota informed.
Meanwhile, SNV's country director Rem Neefies also met finance secretary Baskota in his office today. Neefies urged him to develop agriculture sector and export agriculture products in the international market. SNV has been providing around $3 million to Nepal for environment, forest, energy and social development projects.

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