When I said hedging is needed in Nepal, I was accused of ruining the country: FinMin Sharma

Published On: September 9, 2022 05:52 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Sept 9: Finance Minister Janardhan Sharma has claimed that Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) and its employees do not understand the issue of hedging foreign investment in Nepal's big projects.

Addressing the infrastructure summit organized by Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) on Friday, Minister Sharma complained that when he was the Minister of Energy, he was accused of ruining the country when he said that hedging is needed in Nepal

He claimed that he was unable to explain to the NRB bureaucracy for a long time that hedging is necessary for bringing in foreign investment in Nepal's big projects. He said that after going through a tough struggle, the regulations regarding hedging have been passed by the cabinet.

Minister Sharma said that the hedging is needed the most in Nepal's hydropower sector but even the business people in the hydro sector said that it is not needed. He said that Nepal's foreign investment policy is very strict to attract foreign investment. Minister Sharma said that the policies of NRB Bank, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Forests are strict.

Minister Sharma said, "In order to attract foreign investment, there must be project preparation and confidence in the project. There is a lack of trust because of our policies, laws and practices. The question is how much foreign debt can the government take? Just taking loans but not increasing the production of the country, not being able to sell our stones, not being able to cut wood, not being able to sell our herbs? If we are not able to use our resources, how can we expect the development of the country? This has raised some serious questions.”

Similarly, he said that it is a political problem that the government does not have a proper plan of what infrastructure is needed, needed and which airport is needed. Minister Sharma said that due to the lack of good management of infrastructure development in the state, there is a problem that infrastructure construction work is not completed on time.


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