Government will receive loan based on necessity and priority: PM Oli

KP Oli BBC interview

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has said Nepal would receive foreign loan based on the country’s needs and priorities.

In an interview to Mathew Amliwala for BBC World, PM Oli clarified that the Nepal government has the capacity to manage such loan.

On a query regarding Nepal’s participation in Belt and Road Initiative, he responded, “We invite investors for investment. We receive loan according to our necessity and priority, not in a random manner. It’s not about other’s experience rather we could manage it based on our own experience and we do have estimates for this as well”.

On another query regarding environmental impacts of infrastructural development that Nepal government planned, a lot of which cut across the protected areas, PM Oli said, “Nepal has substantial contributions to strike environmental balance. This year we are planning to plant more than 10 million trees to counterbalance any sort of negative impact of development works on the environment.

“If we cut down 2.5 million trees we would plant an additional 5 million saplings. We are also working for the river. We have dedicated 62 percent of the land to environmental protection,” he added.

“Nepal is always cautious of environmental degradation and carelessness while carrying out development projects”.

A documentary by Navin Singh Khadka on Mount Everest climbing was presented at the beginning of the interview, showing the deadliest and busiest climbing season ever and the way the authorities manage Everest, which has come under massive scrutiny.

The documentary showed the traffic jam on the way to the world’s highest peak making the climbers wait for hours up and down.

According to the documentary, the Nepal government deployed nearly 60 liaison officials to regulate the expedition team but the BCC investigation showed not even five officials stayed at the base camp who go home and not even turn up.

Nepal has planned to bring in 2 million tourists next year, which the government has taken as Visit Nepal 2020, a year committed to tourism industry with the vision of making a reasonable brand picture of Nepal as travel and vacationer destination, backing up the tourism foundations, enhance the growth of tourism industry, and enhance local tourism as supportable industry.

Expedition operators are excited about the tourism year, but, according to BBC, they agree that managing the traffic jam on the highest peak is a Himalayan task, especially when something goes wrong.

Alan Arnet, a climber, said limited proper timing, over permission and low-cost proposal of the company due to the competition are three major causes behind the fatal incidents in the world’s highest peak.

This year the Nepal government has issued permits to record 381 climbers to scale the Everest.

PM Oli said that it is an unnecessary hype and clarified, “the number of permits issued to the climbers is not large.”

“The Mountaineers have to wait for long for good weather. Sometimes they need to wait for days. This needs to be reviewed. The situation is not complicated as rumored”, he added.

Noting that adequate attention would be paid on granting permission to summiteers as well as monitoring the conducts of the concerned officer in coming days, he said it was not the truth that the climbers had died because of disrupted traffic.

“We have made some amendments to rules. Our amendments include numbers of guides, oxygen cylinder, summit preparatory obligations and a proper number of mountaineers”, he added.