By A Staff Reporter Kathmandu, Jan. 13: Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Paudel said that practice of collecting scattered money and investing in business or infrastructure projects should be promoted. “Collecting money and investing it in productive sector is a good practice. It supports the economy in various ways,” he said while speaking at the annual meeting of Vision Lumbini Company Limited. He appreciated the company’s effort to raise fund from about 1000 people and invest in various businesses including hydropower and urged others to follow suit. Former Finance Minister Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat said that investment from both the government and private sector should be promoted in hydroelectricity sector. “Half of the total electricity produced now is generated by private sector producers; I think this a positive achievement,” he said. He said that Nepal could be a clean energy powerhouse in south Asia, can export clean energy and substitute the petroleum products with it. “The country with 224 billion cubic metre annual water flow has failed to tap the potential. We can generate about 45,000 megawatt hydroelectricity from water resources. But we are importing half of the required electricity from India, this is an irony,” he said. He urged the government to effectively implement the policy of Rs. 5 million VAT refund for each megawatt of electricity produced. Government must take proactive steps to address the challenges faced by the independent power producers, he said. Likewise, Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Top Bahadur Rayamajhi has urged one and all to increase the use of electricity. He said that the ministry was devising various plans and policies to increase the use of electricity. “By September 2021, the country will have 500 MW surplus energy. Therefore, we must find ways to utilise it and export it to neighbouring countries,” he said. The company is developing a 25-Megawatt Seti Nadi Hydroelectricity Project in Kaski district. A consortium led by NMB Bank including Employees Provident Fund and Agriculture Development Bank is investing Rs. 3.50 billion in the project. Hydroelectricity Investment and Development Company has agreed to make about Rs. 200 million equity investment in the Rs. 5 billion project.