Economic prosperity through infrastructure development «

Economic prosperity through infrastructure development

Speakers at a session in the Nepal Infrastructure Summit 2019, which kicked off in Kathmandu today, said that Nepal can achieve its desired economic growth and development goals through the development of infrastructures.
Addressing the mega event on infrastructure development, which is being organized jointly by the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) and the Government of Nepal, former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai said that the private sector can partner in the development of planned NijgadhInternational Airport, among different other projects.
Citing that the current Kathmandu-centric urbanization has to be linked with Tarai-Madesh, Bhattarai urged the government to take development activities also along Tarai. However, Bhattarai said that the private sector might not be able to develop and operate all planned mega infrastructure projects in the country. “We gave the private sector the project to develop various tunnel projects, but they failed. This shows that the private sector of the country today is not in the position to invest and develop mega infrastructure projects,” said Bhattarai.
Leader Bhattarai also stressed on the need to connect every village with the road network in a bid to expand the market and raise economic activity. As per him, the government should give due priority to completing the Postal Highway, Mid-Hill Highway along with East-West Highway based on Koshi, Gandaki and Karnali river basin. “Once the government builds necessary road networks and ensure markets, the private sector will set a base for higher revenue to the government by producing products and services,” he said.
Bhattarai lamented that though the world today is in 4th industrial revolution, Nepal has not been able to properly complete the first industrial revolution. “As Nepal’s economy still today is based on livelihood-based agriculture, the government should promote the industrial and service-based economy by developing necessary infrastructure and markets,” he said. At the present context, the private sector has ample prospects to raise their investment in the hydropower sector, he opined.
Addressing the session, Pushpa Raj Kandel, vice chairman of National Planning Commission (NPC) said that the government has made attempts to ensure a business climate in the country at present by making regulatory provisions friendly to doing business. Similarly, Kandel also informed that the government is doing the necessary groundwork to improve the country’s position in doing business index. “Against these backdrops, investors from India, China, USA, and Norway, among other countries are willing to make the investment in Nepal,” he said.
On the occasion, Woochong Um, director General of the World Bank said that countries including Nepal should focus on the development of resilient infrastructure projects considering the rising global temperature and climate change issues. Similarly, Um said that Nepal should prioritize community-based infrastructure development process so as to link Nepal’s development aspirations and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations. Along with this, Um also stressed on the effective coordination and partnership between the government and the private sector in the development.
At the session, participants including vice president of CNI Bishnu Kumar Agrawal, former revenue secretary Lal Shankar Ghimire, among others said that business climate in Nepal has been improving in the recent years and urged investors to make the investment in different sectors.