September 11: The Nepal Infrastructure Summit 2022 concluded on Friday. Various issues ranging from roads, railways, and tunnels to industrial infrastructure were discussed during the summit.
The 2-day summit held in Kathmandu stressed on the need to set priorities and raise financial resources. On the second day of the conference on Friday, Finance Minister Janardan Sharma said that it is necessary to increase savings to increase domestic investment.
Speaking at the summit which was jointly organized by the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport and the Confederation of Nepal Industries (CNI), Minister Sharma said that if 90 per cent of the income is spent there will be no savings.
He also informed that capital market and insurance are going to be linked to infrastructure development with the intention to utilize internal resources for construction. Similarly, Minister for Communication and Information Technology Gyanendra Bahadur Karki said that we should work to make Nepal prosperous in 10 years.
"We will have to invest up to 9 per cent of the gross domestic product to build infrastructure," said Karki, adding "The government alone cannot invest in the infrastructure, and we are ready to create an environment for the private sector to invest in infrastructure."
Umesh Shrestha, minister of state at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, emphasized that the thinking of the political leadership and government employees should be changed in order to develop the country.
Bindu Lohani, former vice president of the Asian Development Bank, said Nepal’s investment in the infrastructure sector in proportion to the gross domestic product is the lowest in the Asia Pacific region.
Similarly, Deputy Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank Bam Bahadur Mishra said that it is not possible to invest long-term loans from bank deposits of unstable nature and emphasized that funds must be raised from other sources including debentures.
"We have made a policy arrangement to keep the interest rate of long-term investment stable," Mishra said, adding "We are trying to create a big bank so that we can invest in big infrastructure projects and arrangements have been made to issue 100 per cent of core capital bonds," said Mishra.
On that occasion, CNI Chairman Bishnu Agarwal said that the summit witnessed intensive discussions on how to build large infrastructure and ways to reduce the cost of business operations by building industrial infrastructure.
He expressed his commitment to take all the suggestions to the regulatory bodies and complete the work to be done on behalf of the private sector. Likewise, he added that many suggestions were received at the summit on how to build infrastructure in the changed context after the coronavirus pandemic.