Holding Investment Summit Is Not Enough To Lure FDI: Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat

Few years ago, Nepal held a similar summit and received commitments of billions of rupees for investment. However, no one showed up to for the actual investment.

March 28, 2019, 8:21 a.m.

Former Finance Minister Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat said that no one will invest just taking part in Investment Summit in the country. Talking to New Spotlight former finance minister Dr.Mahat said, “first of all, we need to assure investors that Nepal is investment friendly. For this, the government needs work to enhance institutional capacity, promulgate investment friendly laws and regulations, make competent bureaucratic set up. However, the current situation is different.

“One need is to improve the quality of governance, changebehavior and gain trust. So far, the government has done nothing to assure investors in changing laws and improving governance. Few years ago, Nepal held a similar summit and received commitments of billions of rupees for investment. However, no one showed up to for the actual investment. If you see the recent trend of FBI, the number of investors has further gone down. As the government is centralizing the power, investors are waiting and observing the situation,” said former finance minister Dr. Mahat in an interview given to New Spotlight’s print edition.

“Prime Minister Oli has been saying whatever he wants to. Rail, ship, airports, pension and so on. However, I can say that all his claims are all show with no substance. People are frustrated just by listening to his paragons.

They have been preaching about all sorts of things but they have not really showed action. They are championing the same Foreign Direct Investment which they opposed while in opposition. Prime Minister Oli has been urging foreign investors to come to invest inNepal. However, I have not seen genuine foreign investors willing to invest in Nepal.

The recent amendment on these acts will further complicate the situation for investors. The provisions of the new act are more confusing and complex for the investors. For instance, the government has given excessive power to Nepal Investment Board to decide on the FDI without improving its governance and capacity of the employers working in the board. We can lure foreign investors only through good governance, enhanced capacity of institutions and zero corruption.

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