KATHMANDU, Sept 24:Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba has accused the government of engaging in a ‘shady deal’ while awarding the contract for Melamchi Water Supply Project to a Chinese contractor.
Deuba, speaking at a function in the capital on Monday, claimed that the government’s decision to bypass competitive bidding process has fueled suspicions of financial embezzlement in the process.
Deuba said the government was promoting corruption by ignoring the competitive bidding process while awarding big projects to contractors. The manner in which the government had awarded 1200-megawatt Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Project to China is a ‘classic example of a shady deal’, he added.
“The government is undermining laws and regulations while awarding projects,” said Deuba.
After the Italian contractor Cooperativa Muratori e Cementisti di Ravenna abandoned the project before its completion and left Nepal, the government in August handpicked Sino Hydro Corporation Limited to complete the remaining work.
Government officials have long maintained that they avoided the competitive bidding process to ensure that the project, which is already behind schedule, is completed as soon as possible. They claim that Sino Hydro was chosen in consultation with other stakeholders including the Asian Development Bank, the project’s donor.