KATHMANDU: The 4th Nepal Infrastructure Summit concluded on Friday after extensive discussions on various dynamics of infrastructure, especially focusing on private investment in the infrastructure sector. The two-day event was jointly organized by the Confederation of Nepal Industries (CNI) and the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT). Speaking at the concluding ceremony, Minister for Communication and Information Technology Gyanendra Bahadur Karki said that joint efforts are necessary to make Nepal prosperous in ten years through increased investment in the infrastructure sector. Karki further said that infrastructure development can not gather pace without the active participation of the private sector. “I request all of you, especially the private sector, to invest in infrastructure development,” he said at the program which was full of private sector representatives.
Umesh Shrestha, Minister for State in the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, said that the thinking of the political leadership and employees should be changed regarding the development needs of the country. “We will have to amend many policies and laws for economic development and work with dynamic vision,” said Shrestha.
Bishnu Agarwal, president of the CNI, said that the two-day event was successful to highlight infrastructure needs and problems existing in the sector. “There were extensive discussions on how to build large infrastructures reducing the cost of business,” said Agarwal.
Nidis Nair, Executive Director of PWC India, gave a presentation on the topics discussed during the two-day conference.”There have been different perspectives on how to raise long-term financial resources to build infrastructure,” said Nair.
Suggestions and recommendations made by the summit will be a guideline for policymakers to resolve the problems in the infrastructure sector to pave the way for smooth implementation of infrastructure projects.
President Emirates of the Confederation and Member of Parliament Binod Kumar Chaudhary said that although there has been a lot of work in the field of infrastructure construction in the recent past, there has not been sufficient infrastructure construction.
“Nepal’s biggest problem is not being able to complete projects on time. Not only in Nepal but also in India, there was a problem of non-construction of projects on time,” said Chaudhary. “By placing the right people in the right place, Nitin Gadgari ( Indian minister) has solved the problem of non-construction of infrastructure on time in India. It is necessary to improve the problem of infrastructure not being built in time in Nepal too,” he further said.
The knowledge and skills of Nepali construction professionals should be increased while working with foreign construction companies that come to Nepal to take contracts.
Secretary of the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Gopal Prasad Sigdel, said that there is a need for cooperation between the government and the private sector for infrastructure development. He said, ‘We will implement the suggestions from the conference on how to build clean, green and sustainable infrastructure.’
In the conference, issues such as large-scale infrastructure construction, inter-provincial infrastructure construction, urban infrastructure construction, regional connectivity, digital infrastructure construction, green infrastructure, etc. were discussed from various angles.
Best idea award
At the closing ceremony, awards were given to the winners of the startup idea competition organized by the CNI. Kapil Adhikari was selected as a winner for his idea of creating a traffic tracking system. He got a prize worth Rs 150,000. Saurabh Singh Chaudhary, who presented the idea of making a paddy planting machine, came second to receive Rs 100,000. Similarly, Joseph Shrestha, who presented the idea of highway and adaptive traffic management, stood third. He received a cash prize of Rs.50,000. Engineer Asim Pandey, who made passenger motorcycles, was honored at the event.