‘Acceleration of reconstruction crucial for recovery’

Kathmandu, March 28

Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice President Wencai Zhang has stressed on the urgent need to accelerate reconstruction and implementation of development programmes to prevent a further slowdown in growth and to ensure rapid recovery.

During the four-day visit to the country, Zhang met Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, deputy prime minister and other senior officials to discuss how Nepal can accelerate its economic recovery and develop plans for sustained higher growth, as per a media release issued today.

During his meetings, Zhang welcomed the finalisation of the Reconstruction Policy and NRA Grant Guidelines, and progress towards the formulation of Post Disaster Risk Recovery Framework, following the recent establishment of the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) and the appointment of its chief executive officer.

ADB forecasts Nepal’s economy to grow 1.5 per cent in fiscal year 2015-16 ending on July 15 after three per cent growth last year, due to the devastating earthquake in April 2015, powerful aftershocks, and subsequent supply disruptions.

ADB expects that the growth will pick up to 4.8 per cent in fiscal year


“To expedite unhindered implementation of reconstruction works, the NRA needs to release sufficient budget immediately, enforce fast-track decision making, and adopt building-back-better principles and innovative approaches for time and cost-efficiency,” the release further quotes him as saying.

In his meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Energy Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, Zhang noted the government’s efforts to address Nepal’s energy crisis.

“ADB will build on its existing support in the energy sector and will extend assistance for 25MW grid solar power plants and two major storage hydropower projects — the 300MW Dudhkoshi plant and the 410 MW Nalsing Gadh plant.”

Zhang also noted the government’s intent to graduate from least developed country status by 2022, and become a middle income country by 2030 while achieving the sustainable development goals.

“This calls for a credible vision and a strategy to achieve it by setting out policies, prioritising public expenditure and investments to build physical and human capital, improving governance and the business environment, building a competitive industrial base and enhancing regional cooperation and integration. ADB will continue to provide the support for that,” Zhang said, as per the release.

During his visit to Nepal, ADB vice president visited the project sites of Earthquake Emergency Assistance Project in Kavrepalanchowk district as well as the Melamchi Water Supply Project in Sindhupalchowk district.