Kathmandu, Aug. 2: A committee has been formed under the convenorship of Vice Chairman of the National Planning Commission (NPC) Dr Govinda Raj Pokharel to suggest about the project development agreement (PDA) said to be reached with GMR, the promoter company for the Upper Karnali Hydroelectricity Project.
The committee with the Chief Secretary Lilamani Poudyal, Nepal Rastra Bank Governor Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada and the Secretaries of the MinistriesÂ related to the Board as members was constituted after a meeting of the Investment Board of Nepal held at the Prime Minister’s residence in Baluwatar today could not reach a concrete agreement to that end.
NPC Vice Chairman Pokharel said the committee was constituted to give suggestions as soon as possible after the ministers attending the meeting were not unanimous on the PDA.
The promoter company GMR had been requesting the government for reaching the PDA arguing that it was necessary for starting the process for the construction of the project with the capacity to generate total 900 Megawatts electricity.
The then government had given consent to the GMR to move forward the project through global tender. The generating capacity of the project was scaled up from 300 Megawatts to 900 Megawatts.
However, water resources experts say that the project could generate 4,100 Megawatts power if it was developed as a reservoir-type project.
Some experts have also suggested that the project should be constructed with domestic investment with the participation of the citizens as well as the per unit cost comes to be Rs 2.10 which the country itself could undertake.
Some political parties including the CPN-Maoist are against giving the project to the Indian company.
As per the MoU reached with GMR in 2008, twelve percent of the electricity generated from the project would be made available to Nepal free of cost as well as 27 percent equity shares.
It is also stated in the MoU that 70 per cent of the electricity generated would be sold for long-term to India and Nepal could purchase 30 per cent as per the market price if it wanted to.