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Nepal PM calls for Indian investments in auto, hydropower sectors


PRIYANKA PANI, KATHMANDU: Nepal Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai wants Indian investors to build and operate more hydropower and automobile sector projects in Nepal.

“We have enough water to generate 85,000 mega watts (MW) of power that will be sufficient for domestic consumption. That apart, we can also look at selling the excess to several Indian states,” the Nepalese Prime Minister said while addressing a press delegation from Mumbai last week.

The development of the hydropower sector in Nepal could earn revenues for the country, thus boosting the overall GDP growth rate of the country, which has been hovering at a mere 3 per cent since the last four decades.

“We want to take this figure to a double-digit number in the next three years,” he said, adding that the Government is proactive in attracting Foreign Direct Investment to achieve high economic growth.

POWER SHORTAGE:
Development of hydropower can overcome the current power shortage in the country, speed up tourism and agriculture development, and enhance production capability of the country through rapid industrialisation, Bhattarai said. At present, the country faces a load shedding of 7-10 hours a day, thus impacting various other industrial and commercial activities.

The country has already got investments from Indian power and infrastructure major GMR to build a 900-MW project at Upper Karnali. Besides, the Government is considering a project in Western Seti, which is being developed by another Indian firm Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam. It has already signed power purchase agreements with both these companies. However, the project has been facing several hindrances and protests from the locals and the licence expired recently.

The Government has, however, allowed GMR to increase the authorised capital in its hydro power projects in Nepal to Rs 190 crore while also extending its survey licence by six months.

The Government also extended the survey licence of the 600-MW Upper Marsyangdi Power Projects which expired in November 2011. A meeting of the high-level Investment Board chaired by the Prime Minister took decisions to renew the licences.

Bhattarai also welcomed investments in the auto sector. The Government said that it will look into providing tax concessions so that Indian auto firms can set up manufacturing units.

“There is a large cigarette factory which is defunct and can be utilised as an auto manufacturing factory,” he added.
Source: The Hindu

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Information for Indian tourists travelling by land:- 72 hours (-) C-19 report, CCMC form and Antigen Test at entry point
Information for Indian tourists travelling by land:- 72 hours (-) C-19 report, CCMC form and Antigen Test at entry point
Information for Indian tourists travelling by land:- 72 hours (-) C-19 report, CCMC form and Antigen Test at entry point