Govt revises Investment Year schedule
The government has dropped its much-hyped plan to bring US$ 1 billion worth of foreign investment in the first six months of Investment Year 2012/13. Instead, it now says the first half of the next fiscal year will be ´preparatory period´ following which it will aim to bring in the targeted USD 1 billion foreign investment in the country.
The government readjusted its plan for the Investment Year, starting from mid-July 2012 after political deadlock pushed the program into jeopardy.
The Investment Board (IB), assigned to realize the government´s ambitious plan said it would completely change the timing of the Investment Year. "Unlike the past announcements, the IB will now use the first six months (of 2012/13) to complete all necessary preparations, including enactment of various investment friendly laws and policies," a source at the Prime Minister´s Office (PMO) told Republica.
"There are internal discussions going on to change the timing to kick-start the Investment Year 2012/13," said the source. The board is yet to make an official decision in this regard though.
If the source comments are anything to go by the Investment Year will now begin from January 2013 and not from mid July, 2012 as earlier announced.
While launching the Investment Year, Prime Minister Babu Ram Bhattarai had said the government would bring in foreign investment worth US$ 1 billion within the first six months. To achieve the target, he had also promised amendment and formulation of various Acts and policies to make the country´s investment regime more investor friendly. "But the whole plan has been affected due to the political sitution since May 27," said the source.
Radesh Pant, CEO of the IB confirmed that the time to unveil the Investment Year 2012/13 has been readjusted. "The readjustment will be more practical given the country´s political situation," he told Republica.
The Investment Year, which was launched on the basis of calculation that constitution will be endorsed on time, might not get investors as hoped for after the political situation took an opposite turn after May 27. "Certainly, the investors might have doubts and fears to come here with their investment," said the source, "We have seen very clear indications of this."
For instance, according to a different source close to the PMO, investors from South Korea who were looking to invest in the hydroelectricity development project have shown reluctance to move forward in the changed political situation.
IFC, DFID, Japan to assist IB
Three leading multilateral and bilateral development partners have extended their commitments to provide technical assistance to the Investment Board (IB).
International Finance Corporation (IFC), Department for International Development (DFID) and Embassy of Japan have shown interest to provide technical assistance to the IB, as per a source at the Prime Minister´s Office (PMO).
"IFC basically, has approached IB office to provide technical assistance to identify the potential projects," said an official of the IB office, "DFID also has shown same kind of interest." According to the official, "the board has already moved forward to work with IFC in a bid to identify the projects that can be of importance."
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