Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ said Wednesday that the government wanted to work in partnership with the private sector to bring about a rapid economic growth in the country.
He further stressed on the need to take the private and the public sector together on implementing mega hydropower and infrastructure projects.
He said that in the changed context, the government needed immense support from the private sector to address the bulk issues and demands of the public. "To give quick relief and give the people a feel of the present change in the country, it is necessary for the public and the private sector to go hand-in-hand," he added.
The government would shortly form a fast track mechanism to start the economic development, he added.
He called on the international community to increase their support to make the government’s plan a success.
Inaugurating a National Symposium on Public Private Partnership 2008 in the capital on Wednesday, Prime Minister Prachanda said that the government would create an appropriate environment for such partnership.
Prachanda stated that the coming together of the Ministry of Local Development, Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was already an exemplary partnership in itself.
Ram Chandra Jha, Minister for Local Development, said that his ministry had already adopted the PPP model in micro programmes at the local level. Lauding the achievements of the joint effort, he further stated that the PPP would certainly make it easy to solve the problems. "If thousands of hands worked together, development is not so far," he said.
Similarly, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordination and UNDP Resident Representative, Robert Piper, said the government’s ambitions to establish a quick trajectory of double digit economic growth would remain a dream without generating private investment and unleashing entrepreneurship in Nepal. "To triple income levels within 10 years and to generate 10,000 MW of power within 10 years, the PPP will help," he added.
Kush Kumar Joshi, president of the FNCCI, said though the PPP was not a new model for Nepal and in the last two decades, there had been some works based on PPP, what lacked was a clear policy and favourable environment.
Welcoming the participants, Johsi said, "The private sector is encouraged by the government announcement in its fiscal policy that PPP was the basis of capital investment."
He said that the government should come up with unified national policy and clear long-term strategy and a clear cut demarcation for private sector’s investment promotion. He said that the government should be clear on whether the government’s role would be to involve itself in commercial activities or play a role of a facilitator only.
During the inaugural session, the PPP experiences of India and the Asia pacific Region were shared by the international resource persons while the Nepalese experience was shared by the secretary of the Ministry of Local Development, Ganga Dutta Awasthi. The experience of best PPP models in India, Nepal and other Asian countries on building roads, solid waste management, port concessions, tourism, transportation, and water supply and sanitation were shared at the programme.
Various working papers will be presented by the resource persons in the two-day symposium for the discussion on various PPP models and their experiences. The symposium will come up with the suitable PPP model to be adopted in the country.
Highlighting the main objectives of the seminar, the organisers said that the programme would hold a detailed discussion with six ministries on the importance of PPP and its application in six vital sectors such as tourism, infrastructure development, education, health, local development and agriculture.
The two-day national symposium organised jointly by Ministry for Local Development, FNCCI and UNDP PPP-UE was attended by the Government officials, donor agencies, public, private sector and the media.
Meanwhile, UNDP, at the same programme, announced a grant of US$ 200 thousand to Biratnagar Sub-Metropolis for solid waste management in the city. UNDP said that with the grant available, the existing PPP arrangement in the municipality would be upgraded and other innovative features would be added in the activities carried out in the municipality.