Prime Minister Sushil Koirala called on the private sector to invest on mega projects as the government is committed to improve investment climate.

Addressing the 11th Annual General Meeting of Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) here today, Koirala said that government will protect investment.

“If you face any problems regarding your investment security, come to me directly,” he added.

Finance minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat, on the occasion, also asked the private sector to invest as the government is starting second tier reforms. “We will fulfill demands of the private sector, but they should invest more to create more jobs and boost productivity,” he said, adding that the government would initiate second-tier reforms soon also to attract investment.

It’s high time that Nepal designate energy sector as an essential service by putting it into the Essential Service Act, which guarantees restriction against strikes, he said, adding that the sector has been over politisised. “It’s unfortunate that Nepal’s politics is not development-and investment-oriented.”

If everything goes as planned, the country would have surplus energy during wet season in the next three years and it could help industrialisation, Mahat added.

The country currently produces 762 MW of electricity during the wet season, which is lower than the actual demand of 1,271.70 MW.

Delivering his keynote speech, president emeritus of CNI Binod Choudhary, said that political stability had hit the economic growth. “As many as 22 governments were formed over the past two decades,” he said, adding that the private sector lost two decades due to political instability.

Likewise, urging the government to devise a strategic roadmap to achieve double-digit economic growth CNI president Narendra Kumar Basnyat, stressed on liberal economic model and guarantee double-digit economic growth by drafting a strategic roadmap of the country’s economy. “Nepal cannot remain isolated from open economy and liberal economic policy.”

He also demanded immediate endorsement of pending bills including Industrial Enterprises Act, Special Economic Zone Act, Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act and Labour Act.

Industry minister Karna Bahadur Thapa, on the occasion, assured the private sector that the government is ready to bring pending bills within a month.

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