Government urges NRNs to focus on agriculture, energy, tourism

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Government urges NRNs to focus on agriculture, energy, tourism

Oct 12, 2014-

As Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) completes first decade of its establishments, senior government officials urged them to concentrate their investment into three sectors–agriculture, energy and tourism.

Addressing the closing ceremony of a programme to mark the NRN Day, National Planning Commission Vice-chairman Govinda Raj Pokhrel said the government is working for a mechanism to promote NRN investment in the upcoming seven-year mid-term plan and 15-year long-term plan.

With NRNs investment in Nepal gradually increasing, Pokharel said the NRNs can tap the three sectors to expand their investments. “These are the sectors where we need not compete with other countries. We have adequate resource,” said Pokhrel in a programme on Sunday. “The only thing that needs to be done is increasing the absorption capacity of the people.”

NRNA Founding President Upendra Mahato said the association is capabile of bringing in big changes in the country and that there is a need of cultivating skills among the unskilled manpower. “It is genuine for people to have expectations from NRNs. An investment of a single penny holds a big significance,” said Mahato adding that investment of a single penny from NRNs means investment of equivalent amount from the locals in Nepal and the foreign partners. “The thundering response from people in the public offering made by Sanima Mai Hydropower Company proves it,” Mahato further added that the government needs to come up with special projects for attracting NRN investment. Immediate Past President of NRNA Jiba Lamichhane said the history of the association is not that long and that people need to have less expectation. “NRNs cannot turnaround socio-economic condition of Nepal in a flash. They should realise the ground reality and make commitments that are achievable. There is a lot more to be done,” he said.

The NRNA on Sunday said that commitments from the concerned stakeholders to provide special citizenship to NRNs has encouraged them to return Nepal. The umbrella organisation of the NRNs added senior political leaders, including Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, have made commitment that the NRNs would be allowed to continue to hold their Nepali citizenship.

“The commitment from the PM of creating investment friendly environment has encouraged us. We would like to see this commitment transformed into reality,” the NRNA said in a statement.

NRNs invested ‘Rs 14b in in past decade’

NRNs have made investments worth Rs 14 billion in nine districts of Nepal in last one decade, according to a priliminary report of the study by the Society of Economic Journalists Association (Sejon). The study does not include some of the major NRNs investments. Sejon said the final output is likely to be much higher since the research will be assimilating data from some of the major NRN investments soon.

NRNA President Shesh Ghale said the research is an initiative to find out the realistic data on the investment made by NRNs in Nepal. “As a president, I have been asked time and again about the investment in Nepal. The research output will bring in a realistic data,” Ghale said, urging NRNA members to help the endeavor by providing transparent data. He added that the research would also help NRN investors about the investment situation in the days to come.

Published: 13-10-2014 09:22

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