China expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s decision to not give the Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Project to China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC).
Speaking in a virtual press conference on Thursday Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi said Chines investors are facing due to change in policy with change in the government.
“The investors make long-term preparations for such a big project. They face difficulty when there is change in policy with change in the government. There must be policy continuity while developing such big projects,” Hou pointed.
She added that Chinese investors will face difficulty in Nepal due to such decisions. She also complained about lack of timely payment to the Chinese companies working in Nepal. Chinese companies are facing problems due to delay in basic things like land acquisition and cutting trees for developing projects and hoped that Nepali side will help resolve such problems.
The government on April 7 had decided to develop the Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Project with domestic investment.
The then Pushpa Kamal Dahal government on May 23, 2017, when Janardan Sharma was energy minister, had decided to award the 1200 MW project to China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) under the engineering, procurement, construction and finance (EPCF) model without a bidding process.
The decision to award the project to the Chinese company with a dodgy record in Nepal and blacklisted in other countries was widely condemned. The subsequent Sher Bahadur Deuba government on November 13, 2017 had revoked the decision to award the contract to CGGC.
It then decided to award the project to the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA). It had formed a committee under National Planning Commission (NPC) Vice Chairman Swarnim Wagle and including finance and energy secretaries, and Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) governor and managing director of NEA to study about investment arrangements.
But the then KP Sharma Oli government again revoked the decision taken by the then Deuba government and again decided to award the project to CGGC without free competition on September 23, 2018.
Former prime minister (PM) Bhattarai had then alleged that Oli, the then CPN Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Nepali Congress (NC) President Deuba shared a bribe of Rs 9 billion among them to award the project to CGGC.
But the Deuba government again decided to develop the project with domestic investment as per the recommendation of the Wagle-led committee.