Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Key economic achievements under late PM Sushil Koirala

Former Prime Minister and President of Nepali Congress (NC) party, Sushil Koirala passed away yesterday at the age of 78. He was known for a simple lifestyle and a clean career. Here are the key economic achievements during his tenure:
  • Landmark power development agreements (PDA) was singed for 900MW Upper Karnali and 900MW Arun-3 hydroelectric projects worth over $2 billion
  • Power Trade Agreement (PTA) was signed with India
  • 18th SAARC summit was successfully organized with agreements on vehicle movement and energy cooperation, among others.
  • 6,720MW Pancheswar Multipurpose Project got some momentum
  • Presided over the successful completion of post-disaster needs assessment
  • Successfully organized the International Conference on Nepal's Reconstruction in March 2015 Donors committed about $4 billion for Nepal's post-earthquake reconstruction
  • Successfully concluded the political transition with the promulgation of a new constitution in September 2015
  • FDI commitment of about $2.7 billion in FY2015
  • A Public Private Partnership (PPP) Policy was approved
  • Put in good and able technocrats/policymakers at key bodies such as National Planning Commission
On the economics front, he will be remembered most for helping to lay groundwork for major investment projects and reform measures. That is quite an achievement in itself (even if the results are not quick) given the relative performance under the leadership of previous premiers. The April 2015 earthquake and subsequent aftershocks, plus the trade blockade (for four and a half month) dented growth prospects and inflicted immeasurable hardship to common folks, but these were beyond Koirala's power. With the lifting of the blockade at the borders, lets hope that economic recovery will be fast (and that the government and bureaucrats will work faster than before for that). 

For now, lets thank the former PM for his decades long service to the nation and for presiding over one of the most scandal-free governments. RIP.

Pic courtesy: Republica