Monday Jun 5, 2023
Monday Jun 5, 2023

'Keep national interest in centre while implementing mega projects'

2022 Jun 12, 6:15, Kathmandu

Experts have suggested the country's leadership focus on the national needs and priorities while enforcing foreign country-initiated projects for the economic development of the country.

They underscored the need for keeping in balance the diplomacy and keeping national interest at the centre while enforcing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) project initiated by China and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) project forwarded by the US.

During an interaction organized on 'BRI: International Practice and Its Relevance in Nepal' by News Society Nepal here Saturday, experts on international relations viewed that although both projects are not unwelcome as such, they must be utilized for Nepal's interest.

Geja Sharma Wagle said the mega projects in Nepal were unnecessarily geo-politicized. It was worrying to dub some projects for the nationalist cause while others were against nationalism. "The same BRI and MCC are successful in Mongolia while these failed in Sri Lanka. So, projects can not be termed good or bad in black and white. Most important is whether the country needs it or not," he underlined.

He made it clear that Nepal could not afford the projects by taking foreign loans. According to him, if the parliamentary endorsement is made for the project of over Rs 50 billion, it could help maintain transparency. Public debates should be held before launching mega projects, Wagle suggested.

On the occasion, another expert Ajay Bhadra Khanal said neither MCC nor BRI would bring challenges. But, major problems around the implementation of these projects are corruption, political bad governance, and economic greed, he reminded.

He cautioned that it would be counterproductive to run mega projects on personal interest.

Similarly, Chief Editor of the Annapurna Express weekly, Bishwas Baral, said mega projects are run successfully in democratic countries rather than in authoritarian countries. He reminded us that in the African countries with low corruption, mega projects are implemented successfully.


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