Carrying forward the reform initiatives brought about by Nepal Economic Growth Agenda (NEGA) 2012 and 2013, Samriddhi undertook research on three specific policy recommendations from the eleven key areas and issues (five areas of NEGA 2012 and six cross cutting issues of NEGA 2013) it has worked on in the previous two years, to provide more detailed policy prescriptions.
Possibility of multiple buyers in hydropower sector in Nepal
Severe energy crisis has been a major problem for Nepal for almost a decade now. As a response, several hydropower projects are currently under construction. Among other things, unavailability of transmission lines and insufficient capacity of existing transmission lines has also hampered rapid development of hydropower in Nepal. Till date, Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has been the sole provider of electricity transmission services in Nepal and also the only buyer of hydroelectricity. There is lack of choices and competition for hydropower developers. Many projects of independent power producers continue to remain in limbo due to connectivity problems. In this light, the ongoing research seeks to explore the area of breaking the monopsony of Nepal Electricity Authority by introducing multiple buyers of electricity in Nepal, which in turn will help address several key challenges in the hydropower sector.
Promoting Cordial Industrial Relations in Nepal
Labor unrest, lockout and strikes are some of the problems that have characterized the strained industrial relations in Nepal. Other than the day to day functioning hassles, such has also been seen as one of the primary reasons that deter foreign investment. Unions do exist to deal with such problems but they have had their own flaws: inter-rivalry between different trade unions (affiliated to different political parties); and difficulty in establishing an official trade union for collective bargaining among many. The ongoing research, thus seeks to understand not only why and how the current setups fall short in terms of dealing with contentious labor relations in Nepal but will also propose viable alternatives.
Reforms in selected Public Enterprises in Nepal
Public enterprises in Nepal, being direct entities of the government, have the same bureaucratic processes of functioning as any other government office. Coupled with the absence of clear objectives and goals and ineffective mechanism for monitoring and evaluation, these enterprises have not been able to deliver their best. The challenge for public enterprises in Nepal is centered on striking a balance between its commercial and non-commercial goals which leads to problems pertaining to autonomy and accountability. Overall, one of the major challenges is tied to the incentive system in public enterprises. The ongoing research seeks to analyze different aspects—financial, social and political of two public enterprises which are in poor financial health conditions and hence critically examine the reasons of inefficiency in both the enterprise to come up implementable reform measures.