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New CNI Cell To Lobby For Infra Development

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KATHMANDU, 04 NOV 2014  – The Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) is all set to establish a separate cell to lobby for infrastructure development.

According to CNI, the cell will be established after the “Nepal Infrastructure Summit 2014” slated to be held in Kathmandu from November 11-12. The cell will include members representing the private sector, government and experts.

“The cell is being developed to create awareness and make continuous efforts for the development of infrastructure in the country,” said CNI Senior Vice-president Hari Bhakta Sharma, adding the cell will work continuously after the completion of the summit. The government too has responded positively to this, he said.

Sharma added the country will require Rs 500 billion every year for the development of infrastructure. To raise the funds , the government has to encourage private sector investment as well as foreign investment, he said. “The government needs to either create conducive environment for private sector investment or increase its own investment.”

Official data, however, suggest the private sector isn’t much encouraged to invest. Private sector investment in infrastructure stood at 0.66 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) from 2007-12, according to a World Bank report published in 2013. “If you look at it categorically, there has not been much investment, besides in the energy sector,” said Sharma.

He added policies have to be amended and an appropriate model has to devised for increasing private sector investment. “For the same, we have invited successful Asian companies to participate in the upcoming summit and hold discussions.”

According to Sharma, investment in infrastructure will boost the overall economy, and help local communities involve in the productive sector. “We have been telling the government the country cannot develop until we have proper infrastructure in place.” he said. “This is why we have taken the lead,” he said.

Vishnu Kumar Agrawal, coordinator of CNI’s Infrastructure Committee, said although there is an immense potential in the infrastructure sector, the private sector has not found it secure to invest.

“This may be because of the lack of information. So the summit will also highlight opportunities in teh sector,” he said, adding the summit will bring the government, the private sector, donors and other stakeholders together and discuss the issue.

Indian Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Jairam Gadkari will be the inaugural speaker of the event. Apart from Gadkari, other keynote speakers for the event include National Planning Commission Vice-chairman Govinda Raj Pokhrel, CNI President Emeritus Binod Chaudhary, Investment Board Nepal CEO Radhesh Pant, and NPC member Swarnim Wagle.

The event will see more than 500 participants.

Source: eKantipur

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