Kathmandu : Nepal scrapped the award of a 1,200-MW Hydropower project to a Chinese state-owned company, dealing a blow to Beijing’s ambitions to take on key infrastructure schemes in the country. A meeting of the cabinet decided to scrap the agreement for the Budhi Gandaki hydropower project with Gezhouba Group on the directive of several parliamentary committees.
The move followed allegations of corruption, and deputy prime minister Kamal Thapa tweeted that the agreement was signed “recklessly and shadily”. The move comes at a time when the Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government is under pressure from China to move ahead with projects under the Belt and road Initiative (BRI).
The cabinet also decided to give two Indian firms-GMR Energy and Sutlej Jal Vidyut nigam-developing 900-MW hydropower plants six more months for financial closure of the projects. The firms are facing several bottlenecks, such as compensation, land acquisition and forest clearance.