Finance Minister meets ADB president Nakao, urges for more ADB support
Yokohama (Japan), May 7: Nepal has urged the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to support in big projects helping in its socio-economic transformation.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Krishna Bahadur Mahara, who is here in course of participating in the 50th annual meeting of ADB Board of Directors, urged this during the meeting with ADB President Takehiko Nakao this morning.
Saying the government of Nepal has put modernization of agriculture, hydropower production, expansion of road network, tourism and increasing investment in big projects of urban development infrastructures in top priority, DPM Mahara said that additional support of ADB was indispensable for its implementation.
Recalling the announcement made by ADB President Nakao in the 12th meeting of Asian Development Fund held in Kathmandu that it would increase its support which it has been providing annually to Nepal from 300 million US dollars to 500 million US dollars, he requested the ADB President to implement it.
DPM Mahara also briefed the ADB President about special initiatives from the government of Nepal and bodies concerned for the effective utilization of ADB's support to Nepal.
The DPM urged ADB President Nakao to appoint ADB Country Director to Nepal and deploy him/her to the working area, as implementation of ADB run projects has been affected in lack of the country director.
Inviting President Nakao to participate on the behalf of the ADB in Nepalese happiness, Finance Minister Mahara said, "Construction works of ADB run project, Melamchi Water Supply Project, are underway in order to complete it within October. Completion of the project is the matter of prestige of the Nepali people and the ADB."
Minister Mahara said the Government of Nepal was looking forward to the participation of the ADB president in the programme to be organised to mark the start of the distribution of water by the Melamchi Water Supply Project in Kathmandu.
Stating that the economic growth rate of Nepal is expected to be 6.9 per cent this year, he said this growth rate would be the highest since 25 years.
On the occasion, DPM Mahara shared that works related to the reconstruction of the structures damaged by the April 2015 earthquake and to the livelihood and rehabilitation of the earthquake-affected communities were moving ahead vigorously. He argued that the improved electricity supply and the increase in agricultural production have spurred the country's economic growth rate.
Noting that growing trade deficit, and the stress seen on the current account and the balance of payment with the decrease in the remittance flow as a matter of concern, the Finance Minister said the rest of the macroeconomic indicators were positive.
"Works on the restructuring of the state are moving ahead as per the constitution and the first phase of the local level election is being held on May 14 in connection with institutionalizing the democracy," DPM and Finance Minister Mahara said, adding that the local election would play a pivotal role to reaching the development agenda and development results at the grass roots level.
Stating that Nepal's attention was now centred on economic and social development after the promulgation of the new constitution, he urged the ADB for extra support in achieving Nepal's goal of graduating to a middle-income country by 2030 by achieving the sustainable development goals.
Heartily appreciating the ADB for its assistance to Nepal in its development endeavours for five decades, Finance Minister Mahara expressed the confidence that the relations between Nepal and ADB would grow stronger under president Nakao's leadership. Also on the occasion DPM Mahara lauded the role of the ADB in the social and economic development as well as infrastructure development in the Asia-Pacific region.
ADB president Nakao expressed the bank's commitment to extend the possible cooperation for Nepal's development needs and in priority sectors determined by the Government of Nepal, including the development of physical infrastructures, economic prosperity, trade facilitation, modernization of the customs system, and investment as well as technical support to income-generation programmes and projects.
Stating that the ADB has prodded Nepal towards the economic integration also through the South Asian sub-regional economic cooperation, the ADB president pledged increased assistance to Nepal from the ADB development fund, prompt appointment of the ADB's Nepal director and to visit Nepal during the time of the completion of the Melamchi Water Supply Project as far as possible. RSS