ADB likely to increase aid by 70pc

Kathmandu, May 27:

Asian Development Bank (ADB) is likely to increase its assistance by 60 to 70 per cent next year, provided Nepal maintains macro-economic stability, ensures good governance and effective implementation of the development projects.

Wrapping up his four-day long official visit to Nepal, Kunio Senga, director general of ADB’s South Asia department, reiterated that bank’s commitment for a continued support in Nepal’s socio-economic development endeavours. “Need of development assistance for Nepal at this juncture of time is ‘important’,” he said today.

Stating that ADB is closely monitoring political developments in Nepal, Senga further said that the bank as one of the key development partners is highly concerned about implications of political developments in socio-economic development activities, particularly the ADB-funded projects.

“It is very important for Nepal to continue economic reform and development, maintain macroeconomic stability, further improve governance and pursue a more inclusive development process to deliver a tangible peace dividend. This is critical for achieving the longer term goal of poverty reduction,” Senga said.

He also urged political parties to continue to move forward on the basis of consensus and coalition to consolidate and bring the peace process to its logical conclusion.

ADB is likely to modify its country strategy and programme considering the changed context and need. However, Senga maintained that there would not be any significant changes, as CSP’s main strategies — broad-based economic growth, good governance in development activities and service delivery and inclusive social development remain consistent with the government’s goals.

When asked about soaring fuel prices and food crisis, he said that ADB is seriously concerned about the looming crisis, especially in the developing countries of Asia and Pacific region. Senga informed that the bank has already set up a $500 million fund to respond to short-term measures to its member countries facing food crisis.

He was of the view that countries should prepare by themselves to tackle such crisis. “Private sector could play a vital role at such important times,” he said pointing out the need to involve private sector in development activities.

He stressed the need of policy reforms and strengthening the public service delivery to involve private sector actively in development activities. “ADB could play an honest role of broker to bringing in public and private sector together for mutual benefits,” Senga said.

He also informed that ADB is planning support projects to strengthen Nepal’s agriculture sector through projects like crop diversification and commercialisation of farm products, which will be vital to cope up with food crisis and poverty reduction.

During his visit, Senga met the ministers of finance, physical planning and works, local development, water resources and other senior government officials. He also met senior leaders of the main political parties. In his meetings, he discussed various aspects of ADB’s current and future operations in Nepal, according to Kunio Senga.

ADB’s assistance to Nepal began in 1968. As of the end of 2006, the bank’s cumulative lending was $2.30 billion.

OTC market starts

KATHMANDU: Securities Board of Nepal (Sebon) has approved the Over the Counter (OTC) Market Regulation presented by Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse), the sole secondary market.

The shares of companies that are delisted and those companies that could not meet criterion to be listed at the Nepse can now trade, according to the new regulation that will come into effect from next week.

“38 companies, including Nepal Bank Ltd, have been delisted from the Nepse,” a press release states, adding that the total amount of delisted shares worth Rs 963.2 million.

The OTC market will attract two per cent commission upto Rs 25,000 transaction, from Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000, it will attract 1.5 per cent commission and Rs 50,000 over transaction will attract one per cent commission. — HNS