By A Staff Reporter,Kathmandu, Jan. 25: A delegation of Nepal Chamber of Commerce met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Rajendra Lingden and urged to implement the government’s slogan ‘Nepal’s water, people’s investment’.
In the meeting with Minister Lingden at Singha Durbar on Tuesday, NCC president Rajendra Malla stressed on the need to create an environment for consumption and export of energy in the country by promoting investment in the hydropower sector under the Public-Private Partnership concept.
He said, "Exporting electricity is the only option to reduce the extreme trade deficit. Nepal exported electricity worth around Rs. 10.5 billion during the rainy season. There should be no delay in exporting electricity worth billions of rupees by promoting domestic investment in hydropower.”
He emphasised on the need to end the policy level problems for the construction of hydropower projects and speed up the construction of transmission lines.
He asked DPM Lingden to formulate a policy to encourage remittance for investment in hydropower. During the meeting, the delegation also handed over 13-point suggestions, including issues such as easing PPA rate, ending the hassles inland acquisition and duration of license to DPM Lingden.
Stating that the cost of construction of hydropower projects is increasing day by day and the cost of production is also increasing, Malla said that the current period of 35 years of PPA should be increased to 50 years.
He requested that the PPA rate of the already completed projects be adjusted according to the new PPA rate as the investors were in trouble when the PPA rate remained at a very low rate of Rs. 2.92 to Rs. 3.
The Chamber has also demanded to allow the private sector in the electricity business.
On the occasion, DPM Lingden said that he is trying to increase public investment in hydropower development.
He said that the government has initiated plans to build projects like Dudh Koshi, Upper Arun, Budhigandaki through domestic investment.
DPM Lingden said that a tripartite agreement including India and Bangladesh is being prepared for Nepal's electricity export and the results will be available soon.
He informed that the government has also adopted a policy to increase electricity consumption.