Special unit under PM to facilitate implementation of mega projects

Published On: May 24, 2018 04:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, May 234: The government has set up a unit at the Office of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers in order to promptly tackle problems arising in national pride projects or mega projects.

B the 'Problem Solving Unit' may take some more time to come into full-fledged operation, officials say.

If the unit comes as envisaged in the recently approved Organization and Management (O&M) report, it can bring big changes in the implementation of development projects.

The unit, which will operate directly under Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, will look into problems faced by mega development projects and address them immediately. The government believes that it will end protracted delays that development projects face in the absence of timely intervention to their problems.

Secretary Kedar Bahadur Adhikari leads the administrative functions of the unit. Its detailed terms of reference is in the making.

“I lead the administrative matters of the unit and few other officials have already started working on it. We are mainly working on the detailed outline of its works and also working guidelines for its smooth operation,” Adhikari told Republica.

He further added that all mega projects have to report to the unit directly. “We believe direct reporting can help to address the problems,” he added.

Needful legal arrangements will be made in the near future to pave the way for the Prime Minister to oversee and supervise mega projects.

Unlike three other units -- National Development Action Committee which is led by Prime Minister at the National Planning Commission and two separate bodies for coordinating led by NPC's vice chairman and chief secretary that monitor development projects, this unit will collect progress reports and supervise project implementation directly.

Adhikari argued that this unit is completely different from other similar units. “It directly intervenes whenever projects hit obstacles in course of implementation and addresses them immediately,” added Adhikari.

Factors that delay development projects vary with projects. However, lack of strong and qualified project managers, unprofessional suppliers and contractors mainly civil and mechanical, frequent transfer of project managers, corruption associated in project variation and commissions on payments, are some of the reasons that affect development projects.

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