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Mega projects are on cards, improve performance: Finance Minister

Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat has asked the contractors to improve their capacity to international standards as the government is planning more mega projects.

Addressing six secretaries – related to development – and private sector here today, he said that the country has failed to expedite development projects due to political transition in the past. “But the country is returning to normalcy and contractors will get no excuse to delay projects,” he said, asking the private sector to be more serious on small development projects.

As the political transition is coming to an end, the country will see more mega projects, Mahat said, asking them to be ready to handle mega projects by increasing their capacity.

Currently the government is constructing Sikta Irrigation, Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower, second international airport and fast track. “Very soon the government is going to start some more mega hydropower projects in association with development partners,” the finance minister reminded the contractors, who have been lately blamed for low quality development works, apart from time and cost overrun. “The government doesnot want to call international contractors for mega projects that are on cards,” he said, asking them to be prepared. “If there is any problem, the government is ready to help but the time has come for the domestic contractors to perform and upgrade themselves.”

He also informed that the amendment to the Public Procurement Act that has been blamed for low quality works is on cards. According to the current Act, the lowest bidder gets the work and that will certainly be of low quality.

Asking the contractors to complete the projects on time, Mahat said that the ministry is ready to provide budget, if there is shortfall. “However, the projects must complete within time.”

He also showed serious concern on development partners taking the aid back due to government and private sectors loss of absorptive capacity.

The contractors, as usual, complained of Public Procurement Act and lack of budget.