Decision on Budhi Gandaki is being reviewed: FM says before flying to China

Deuba govt had revoked decision to award it to China Gezhouba

The government is reviewing the decision of Sher Bahadur Deuba government to revoke the agreement with Chinese company for development of Budhi Gandaki reservoir project.

“The decisions of the previous government including that of Budhi Gandaki are currently being studied, and appropriate decision will be taken after study,” Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali stated addressing a press conference organized before leaving for six-day China visit starting Monday. “This China visit of mine does not include the agenda of Budhi Gandaki,” he clarified.

The Deuba government on November 13, 2017 had revoked the decision to award the contract to China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) and decided to award the contract to the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) on November 24.

The government had decided to hand over the project to the NEA in Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) model by using domestic investment and technology, and even formed a committee under the then National Planning Commission (NPC) Vice Chairman Swarnim Wagle and including finance and energy secretaries, and Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) governor and managing director of NEA to study about investment arrangements.

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. Nepali Congress (NC) was also part of the coalition government led by Dahal.

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.

The KP Sharma Oli government has already said it will not implement two decisions taken by the Deuba government.

It has stated that the decision to provide additional grant of Rs 100,000 to the victims of 2015 Gorkha Earthquake will not be implemented as the decision is not included in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) records, and added that the decision to cut the threshold for getting elderly allowance to 65 years cannot be implemented as there is no working procedure on that.

Minister Gyawali, however, did not reveal which other decisions by the Deuba government are being studied.

Foreign Minister Gyawali is visiting China on invitation of Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and stated that he will even meet top political leadership during the visit.

“I am going to Beijing with a message that Nepal is implementing federalism after completing all three levels of elections. Agreements signed with China two years ago including that on transit will also be reviewed,” Gyawali stated.

He confirmed that PM Oli will visit China this year but added that the date has yet to be decided. “There will be top political visits from both the countries this year. It will, however, take time to decide on the date.”



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