Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Leaders pledge to develop hydropower

Major political parties today made a commitment to develop hydropower in the country.
During the 47th annual general meeting of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) here, leaders of six major political parties — Nepali Congress, UCPN-Maoist, CPN-UML, Madheshi Janadhikar Forum, Rastriya Janashakti Party, and Madheshi Janadhikar Forum (Democratic) — along with the chairman of the Interim Election Council Khil Raj Regmi signed a commitment paper, pledging not to disturb hydropower development in the country, as energy is the engine of economic growth.
The umbrella organisation of the private sector has long been pushing for a common minimum economic agenda for political parties as a country passing through a transition might see frequent changes in guard in the government. But regular political bickering has pushed the economy backstage, costing the country billions and forcing thousands of youths to migrate to the deserts of the Middle East.
Since long, ultra leftist parties have been treating hydropower as a political issue forcing the country and its future towards darkness but after today's commitment by the political parties, including UCPN-Maoist that has been politicising hydropower for their power bargaining chip, they are expected to treat hydropower as a commodity that can make Nepal prosperous.
"Nepal is bestowed with vast natural resources and human capital," said UCPN-Maoist chairman Puspa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda', after signing the 19-point commitment paper. "We are committed to working unitedly with other political parties for the economic prosperity of the country," he said, adding that the future generation will not excuse the political parties for putting their future in dark.
Likewise, Nepali Congress president Sushil Koirala, in his recorded message from Nawalparasi, said that the Nepali Congress has always supported the private sector and has been the proponent of economic growth.
However, the CPN-Maoist – a splinter of UCPN-Maoist led by Mohan Bhaidhya Kiran that has been creating hurdles in the bigger hydropower projects – was but absent on the occasion.
“The debate of mobilising local investment versus inviting FDI is irrelevant,” said FNCCI president Suraj Vaidya during the inaugural session.
"FNCCI has been lobbying for a common minimum economic agenda including hydropower for the development of the country to attract investment in the country,” he added.
"Now it is time all political parties come to a certain understanding on ways to end the everlasting transition and steer the nation towards the path of accelerated growth," Vaidya said, urging the incumbent government to bring pending legislations that are crucial for creating an investment friendly environment.
Vaidya also asked the government to bring legislations regarding electricity, special economic zone, banking and financial institutions, intellectual property, foreign investment, regulating foreign trade and labour to help create an investment friendly environment. "We urge the government to conclude the pending Letter of Exchange of trade and transit with and through India, apart from concluding the Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (BIPPA), and Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with China, Japan, South Korea, US, Thailand, Qatar, Australia, Russia and other potential countries," he added.
On the occasion, FNCCI also felicitated the best district chambers, bilateral chambers and commodity associations for their contribution in their respective fields.

No comments: