CPN-UML Chairman KP Oli has taken a swipe at the government’s decision to revoke the license for development of the Budhi Gandaki Hydroelectric Project awarded to China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) claiming the government has revoked it after it did not get the promised commission.
Speaking in Kathmandu during an election program of the party Oli asked, “Why did the government irresponsibly revoke the license? Did it not get commission or the promised amount in assistance?”
“We know nothing. Why did the same government (sic) award it then? Why has it revoked now?” he asked.
The then Pushpa Kamal Dahal government on May 23, when Janardan Sharma was energy minister, had decided to award the project to CGGC under the engineering, procurement, construction and finance (EPCF) model without a bidding process.
The Dahal government was formed through alliance of Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN (Maoist Center) after ouster of the Oli government. NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba is PM now as per the then agreement with Maoist Chairman Dahal who has changed ships since and forged an electoral alliance with UML now. PM Deuba has taken back the ministries from Maoist ministers after formation of the left alliance with UML. But Maoist ministers have yet to resign and are present in the current Cabinet as ministers without any portfolio.
“What is the difference between Biplav (Netra Bikram Chand) and this government? Some go to capture (others’ properties) while this government takes back license,” he fumed.
The Cabinet meeting on Monday had revoked the license of CGGC. “The Cabinet meeting today has revoked the agreement on Budhi Gandaki done with China Gezhouba Group in an irregular and whimsical manner as per the instruction of parliamentary committees,” Energy Minister Kamal Thapa had tweeted on Monday to confirm revocation of the contract.
The decision to award the 1200 MW project to the Chinese company with a dodgy record in Nepal and blacklisted in other countries was widely condemned and former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai was the most vocal and prominent critic of the decision.