Worth over Rs 300 billion, Budhi Gandaki project does not have even Rs 10 million

Published On: March 21, 2023 03:54 PM NPT By: Himal Lamsal

KATHMANDU, March 21: Budhi Gandaki Jalvidyut Public Limited, which was established to build a project worth Rs 300 billion on a company model, has not been able to manage even Rs 10 million, preventing the project work from moving forward.

A meeting of the Council of Ministers held on June 28, 2022 had decided to build the Budhi Gandaki hydropower project through domestic investment and based on a company model.

According to the same decision, the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation registered Budhi Gandaki Jalvidyut Public Limited on September 2, 2022. Even after seven months of the company's registration, the company has not been able to proceed with its work as the resources worth 10 million rupees needed for the company could not be managed. According to the capital structure of the company, there is a provision that the bank account of the company should have at least 10 million rupees. Therefore, as there is not the required amount in the company’s bank account, the company has not been able to get business permission from the Office of the Company Registrar.

The spokesperson for the energy ministry, Madhu Prasad Bhetuwal, said that the company lacks life at the moment as there is no budget of 10 million rupees required by the company. "We have prepared to revive the company by transferring a budget from the Budhi Gandaki Development Committee to the Budhi Gandaki Public Company," he said. “We are hoping that the process will go ahead with the appointment of the departmental minister.” 

According to the project documents of Budhi Gandaki Jalvidyut Public Limited, there will be seven members in the board of directors of the company. Accordingly, the Secretary of Energy Minister, one gazetted official from Energy Ministry, one official of Finance Ministry, Managing director of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), one independent financial expert, and two independent hydropower experts will be members of the board of directors.

Although there are powerful personalities on the board of directors of the company, the company is lifeless as the Ministry of Finance did not allow the money to be transferred on time. Spokesperson Bhetuwal said that it will take some time to manage the resources required for the construction of the 1200 MW Budhi Gandaki hydropower project.

The meeting of the Council of Ministers held on April 7, 2022, decided to take over the Budhi Gandaki hydropower project from the Chinese company China Gejuwa Water and Power Group Company Limited (CJIGC) and build it with domestic investment. In the budget of the current financial year 2022-23, it has been mentioned that this project will be built from internal sources. It is mentioned in the project documents of Budhi Gandaki Jalvidyut Limited that the authorized capital of the proposed company will be 60 billion rupees.

Similarly, it is said that the authorized capital will be divided into 600 million ordinary shares at the rate of 100 rupees per share. The immediate issued capital of the company is proposed to be 20 billion rupees. The capital agreed upon by the founders of the company for immediate repayment is 10 billion rupees.

Likewise, in the project documents, it is said that 40 percent ownership will be given to the energy ministry, i.e. 24 million shares, 15 million shares to the finance ministry, 84 million shares to NEA, and six million shares to the power generation company. Meanwhile, a share structure of 10 million each has been offered to the people affected by the project and the general public. The government led by former prime minister KP Sharma Oli had given the contract of the project to the Chinese company CJIGC on September 21,2018.

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