» » Govt provides Rs 1 billion plus for Pokhara Int'l Airport

Kathmandu, June 5: Government has provided more than Rs 1.37 billion to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Sunday so as to expedite the construction of the Pokhara Regional International Airport (PRIA) as per the agreement made on February 4, 2016.

      The Ministry of Finance (MoF) released the amount to the CAA, Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Prem Kumar Rai told the National News Agency (RSS).

China's EXIM Bank had provided the amount to the government at the interest of 5 per cent and to be paid back within 20 years. China is to provide Rs 21 billion grant in line with the agreement.

      Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had laid the foundation stone for the estimated Rs 21.47 billion Project on April 13 this year amid the presence of the top leaders of the major political parties

 A bilateral agreement on soft loan was inked on March 21 between the Government of Nepal and China during the PM Oli's visit to China, according to which Nepal has signed a loan agreement for Rs 16.87 billion with the EXIM Bank at 1.5 per cent interest rate for the construction of PRIA.

 EXIM Bank, however, will not charge any interest on the remaining Rs 5.87 billion.

Secretary Rai expressed his confidence that with agreement between the MoF and CIA, the construction of the PRIA will pick up the pace.

      The expanse of the Airport straddles 3,700 ropani of land in Pokhara Sub Metropolis 14 and 18.

 The airport will be built in the next four years as per the national master plan.

China's CMC Engineering has been assigned as the contractor for the Project. The Chinese technical team has been undertaking the preliminary works related to the construction at the construction site, according to Secretary Rai.

The airport will boast 2,500 metres of runway, only 556 metres lesser than the only international airport so far in the country- the Tribhuvan International Airport.

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