Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Finance Minister plans NRs600 billion investment in infrastructure and more

From The Kathmandu Post: On Monday, the corporation invited proposals from potential ground handling service providers at Kansai International Airport in Osaka, Japan. It had made a similar call to prospective ground handling service providers at Incheon International Airport in Incheon, South Korea last Friday.  NAC invited bids for ground handling services at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last December. As per the initial proposal, the national flag carrier has planned to operate four weekly flights to Riyadh, three weekly flights to Incheon and two weekly flights to Osaka. 

Recently, the Tourism and Civil Aviation Ministry named three international long-haul routes for NAC to serve after it receives its two wide-body aircraft on order in the next three months. The carrier has borrowed Rs24 billion from the Citizen Investment Trust (CIT) and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to buy the planes.

NAC had planned to fly to the Japanese capital of Tokyo, but this did not happen as the air service agreement (ASA) between Nepal and Japan has designated Kansai International Airport in Osaka. The Tourism Ministry is also preparing to revise the ASA with Japan to permit Nepali carriers to fly on other routes in Japan. Apart from NAC, several private carriers like Buddha Air have planned to serve Japan to bring high-end tourists to Nepal. Nepal and Japan signed the ASA in 1993 allocating 400 weekly seats. The national flag carrier used to fly to Osaka via Shanghai until 2008 when it was forced to suspend the route due to lack of aircraft.

Finance Minister plans NRs600 billion investment in infrastructure

From Karoabar: Finance Minister Dr. Yubaraj Khatiwada is planning NRs600 billon public and private investment in infrastructure. NRs100-200 billion will come from the government and the rest from the private sector. Some of his commitments to private sector representatives are as follows:

  • Reform legal and policy related bottlenecks to spur private sector investment
  • Implement SEZ Act to address issues surrounding land and other clearances (land prices are escalating too high, increasing cost of production for firms)
  • Reduce time for approvals needed for private investment
  • Improve customs administration to control leakages
  • Consult with NRB to address frequent bouts of liquidity shortage
  • Prioritize industrialization and services sector