The National Planning Commission organized a two-day regional level workshop on Public Private Partnership (PPP) in Gorkha of Province # 4. The basic objective of this workshop was to share and disseminate the PPP Policy – 2072 with the private sector entrepreneurs and investors, newly elected local leaders of village and urban municipalities, and the district level government officials. The workshop contributed to orient these stakeholders about the importance of PPP to invest and facilitate infrastructure development and management, and to create a critical mass to further aware the policy to the general people.
Dr. Sunil Babu Shrestha, Honorable Member of NPC and the Chief Guest of the inaugural session said that the role of private sector as envisaged in the Fourteenth Plan of the country is immense to mobilize resources for investment. In FY 2016/17, the economy has experienced high growth rate of 7.5 percent. The challenge now is how to sustain this high growth by creating investment climate and mobilizing private sector in infrastructure development works. In all these contexts, Dr. Shrestha reiterated the need for adopting and implementing PPP modality for fast development works. The support of government sector could be enhanced and conducive investment environment could be ensured to attract private sector to utilizing their resources and management skills in joint investment initiations of government and private sector. Highlighting the importance of government officials and the members of private sector business community, he emphasized that this group would jointly be able to create new PPP initiations in development works.
Representing the private sector, Mr. Shrawan Kumar Joshi, Chairperson of Gorkha Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that a concrete program should be initiated to harness the natural resources of Province # 4. It is high time now to work jointly with the Government under PPP modality to invest in several infrastructure projects such as hydropower and tourism for the fast economic growth and development. Being a place of historical importance, Government should give high priority to Gorkha district for its road connectivity and other infrastructure development programs.
Ms Beena Shrestha Deputy-Mayor of Gorkha Urban Municipality, explained that the Federal Government should be more flexible in implementing PPP projects. She emphasized that number of trainings/workshops should be provided to the newly elected members and their relatives. Welcoming the participants of the seminar, Dr. Kiran Rupakheti, Programme Director, NPC Secretariat highlighted the programs of the two-day workshop. He explained the importance of PPP initiations in Nepal and highlighted the efforts made by the NPC in this direction. Mr Narayan Acharya, Local Development Officer of Gorkha district emphasized that efforts should be given to mobilize foreign resources for implementing PPP approach in development endeavors.
The chair of the inaugural session of the two-day workshop, Mr Jitendra Basnet, the Chief District Officer (CDO) of Gorkha district said that utilizing the PPP modality the private sector should come forward primarily in infrastructure projects. He reiterated that efforts should be made to increase access to resources for investment, and to involve private sector in decision-making process under PPP modality.
Dr. Sunil Babu Shrestha presented the paper on the theme of the concept, policy, challenges and opportunities for initiating and executing and promoting PPP. He emphasized that in lieu of present election of local government of village and urban municipalities, there has been immense pressure to the local as well as federal governments to build investment environment and generate fund for investment in the areas of hydropower, physical infrastructure, fast track highways, airports, cable cars and so on. He emphasized that the Federal Government alone cannot mobilize fund for investment and cannot take responsibility for execution of the projects. The Government can help generate fund not only from national treasury but also from international agencies. It has been now obvious that local governments as well as private investors at the local levels and the Federal Government and the big investors at the national level should work together to invest in infrastructures. For these all a high political commitment and a strengthened enabling environment along with political consensus is needed to adopt PPP modality at all the levels of governments.
On behalf National Planning Commission Chief of PPP Section Dr Kiran Rupakhetee presented in detail the features of PPP Policy 2072. Other papers were (i) role of private sector and challenges; (ii) international practices of PPP; (iii) possibility of promoting PPP at local levels; (iv) and project cycle. A total of 80 participants: officials of district level line agencies and urban municipalities, civil society, private sector, and media were present in the workshop.
In the workshop, three groups were formed to critically examine the PPP Policy and to suggest for changes based on the field experience. The Groups mainly emphasized that the Government should create conducive environment for mobilizing private sector in the thematic areas of the economy as indicated by the PPP Policy, 2016.
(Note: The workshop was third in a series of four workshops. First and second workshops were held on March 14 in Kathmandu and on March 29 - 30 in Biratnagar. The fourth one will be organized in Surkhet within this Fiscal Year.)