Parliamentary committee directs immediate PTA with India

KATHMANDU, JUL 27 .The Legislature-Parliament Agriculture and Resources Committee has directed the Government to immediately conclude the Power Trade Agreement ( PTA ) with India, while expressing serious concern over the postponement of the same in the Nepal-India foreign minister level talks.

The meeting of the Committee on Sunday directed the government to immediately concluded PTA with neighbouring countries including India by ensuring Nepal’s overall interest on the basis of universal principles and policies.

‘Large-scale investment is inevitable in the energy sector but investment will become uncertain in the absence of a power development agreement. As a result, a PTA is necessary with India’, reads the decision of the Committee.

Meanwhile, registering a not of dissent, Nepal Workers’ and Peasants’ Party lawmaker Dilli Raj Kafley said the word ‘with India’ should be replaced by ‘with other countries’.

Reading out the Committee’s decision, lawmaker Amrit Kumar Bohara, who chaired the meeting, said such an agreement was necessary to attract investment and emphasized on the need for concrete homework and coordination between the government and the committee on the same.

Earlier at the meeting, Minister for Energy Radha Gyawali said as energy was the first door to development of Nepal, a PTA with India was essential for it.

“The Ministry will not step back on matters of national interest but power development is in the interest of Nepal”, she said.

Speaking at the meeting, NC lawmaker Gagan Kumar Thapa however blamed the Energy ministry for creating unnecessary dispute over the proposed PTA with India.

CPN-UML lawmaker Kashinath Adhikari however sought an explanation from the government over the delay in concluding the agreement though Nepal had sent its draft to India four years ago.

Secretary at the Energy Ministry Rajendra Kishore Chettri however said that the signing of the PTA has been postponed due to lack of necessary homework for it.

Executive Director of Investment Board Radhesh Pant said some conditions of the investors had to be met in order to attract investment in power development. RSS