As industrialist Binod Kumar Chaudhary, President Emeritus of CNI, is dreaming to make a major breakthrough in the infrastructure sector, his colleagues in the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) have made his dream come closer to being realized by successfully holding an infrastructure summit.
Lack of infrastructure like road, power and transport has been holding back Nepal from making any significant economic progress. The infrastructure sector is suffering a setback due to the anarchy and deteriorating law and order of the country.
As Nepal government officials and industrialists were calling for foreign investment in infrastructure, a section of people, backed by political parties, stopped the production of the Bhotekosi Hydropower Project by demanding their share in the private property.
Although the two-day summit concluded with showing the way for a public-private partnership in infrastructure development, no one is sure if it would bring in more investment in the infrastructure given the failure of the state to restore the law and order.
The Summit, nevertheless, was significant. With the signing of Power Development Agreement (PDA) with India's GMR, the interest of international investors has drastically increased in the recent times. However, if incidents like in Bhotekosi continue, they will definitely give a wrong message.
"We have held the summit meeting at the right time. I am very enthusiastic looking at the participants at the summit and discussions that took place," said industrialist Chaudhary. "This is a very significant event in the sense that Nepal needs to improve its infrastructure to accelerate its economic growth and there is the need to forge a strong partnership between the government private sector," said industrialist Chaudhary, who has been advocating this for a long period of time.
Alongside the Nepalese private sector representatives, the private sector of the neighboring countries, policy makers, high level government officials, Nepal's development partners participated in the summit, making it the first of its kind to highlight the state of Nepal's infrastructure and overall resource requirement.
"Genuinely multidimensional issues have been raised by the speakers and participants during the sessions, which I think are very relevant for the country's socio-economic development. The sessions were very fruitful and the conclusions we derived from the discussions will be instrumental for the policy reforms in the sectors concerned," said Hari Bhakta Sharma, first senior vice president of CNI.
Although the two-day summit concluded with a message for strong public-private partnership for infrastructure development, the challenge before CNI is to translated the commitments into a reality.
"I am confident that the first ever Nepal Infrastructure Summit has become a milestone to set a platform for constructive discussions in the sector. Similarly it will be very instrumental to institutionalize the Infrastructure Cell that CNI will set up within its structure. CNI will also make a doable follow up and working mechanism to incorporate the suggestions from the partnership," said president Basnyat.
Organized jointly by Confederation of Nepalese Industries, Government of Nepal (GON), Investment Board Nepal (IBN), Youth Community for Nepalese Contractors (YCNC), and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), with other national level agencies and multilateral agencies as partners in the event, the two day program was attended by renowned people from various sectors.
Inaugurated by Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, Indian Minister of Road, the event was attended by Transport and Highway Nitin Jairam Gadkari as a guest of honor during the opening plenary. The summit concluded with a call to make Nepal a prosperous nation through the development of infrastructure.
The CNI team has shown that the team spirit, vision and dynamic leadership always counts in successfully holding such a conference.