CNI urges govt to implement outcomes of infrastructure summit

Published On: February 23, 2017 12:20 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Feb 23: Upbeat with the outcomes of the recently held 'Nepal Infrastructure Summit 2017', the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) has urged the government and all stakeholders for implementation of deliberations and declarations made in the summit by preparing appropriate policies and laws. 

Organizing a press meet in Kathmandu on Wednesday, officials of CNI said that focus now should be on implementation of the ideas and conclusions expressed in the summit. “The opinions expressed by various dignitaries and stakeholders in the summit have reinforced the need for solid and sustainable infrastructure network in the country and the role of private sector as an indispensable partner for addressing the infrastructure gap,” CNI President Hari Bhakta Sharma said in the meet. “We urge the government, political parties and all stakeholders to become serious toward implementation of ideas and solutions floated during the summit,” he added, expressing commitment to do needful follow-up for implementation of the ideas that came in the summit. 

The organizers have also said that the summit has been able to portray Nepal as a lucrative and virgin destination for investment. The summit has concluded that public private partnership is a best model for Nepal for building infrastructures, the organizers claimed. 

CNI also said that the summit forged consensus among stakeholders that sustainable economic growth was not possible without adequate investment in infrastructure development, highlighted willingness of international community for their support in the economic development, and relayed message that the private sector in the country is becoming proactive and capable.  

The two-day summit that concluded on Monday discussed on a wide range of issues on infrastructure, including policy and regulatory enablers, value proposition and competitive environment. Delegates from private sector, government agencies, donor community and foreign countries like India, China, Israel, France, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bhutan, Singapore and the US participated in the summit where Indian Railways Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu delivered keynote speech. 

The umbrella organization of industrialists has also urged the government to prepare a work plan toward materializing the announcement of Indian Railways Minister Prabhu to connect Kathmandu and New Delhi as well as connecting Nepal with Kolkata through railways. 

Addressing the summit, Prabhu had said that India was positive toward connecting two countries with railway network.   

'Set up sovereign dev fund, strategic infra fund' 
The CNI has also floated an idea of setting up sovereign development fund and strategic infrastructure fund to mobilize both public and private investments in infrastructure development. 

“There are concepts of viability gap funding in other countries and these special purpose vehicles can help to mobilize financial resources in addressing infrastructure deficit in the country,” said Sharma. 

He also urged the government to establish infrastructure development bank, announced in the budget speech, to finance infrastructure projects.

Nepal should also make efforts to obtain climate financing fund for the development of natural disasters resistant and green infrastructures as the country is vulnerable to climate change, he added. 

Indian Railways Minister Prabhu had also made commitment to raise the issue of Nepal's entitlement to such funds in the international forums.

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