Dr Mahat to meet donors

Kathmandu, May 11:

Finance minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat is holding a donors’ meet on Saturday in a bid to apprise them of the country’s deteriorating socio-economic situation.

According to sources at the ministry of finance, donors will be briefed about the country’s economic indicators.

The meet will also seek ways to revive the economy which has been severely damaged by the conflict in recent years.

Over two dozen donor representatives are attending a meeting being organised by the ministry of finance, said sources. The meeting is being held at a time when most donors based in Kathmandu are showing interest to aid Nepal, following major political changes here.

Expectations over a white paper on the state of the economy being presented by the finance minister in the parliament today had been belied. According to sources, he would present the ‘white paper’ on Sunday as he is working on a war footing ‘as to how the troubled-economy can be lifted out of the quagmire’.

Ministry officials have more or less agreed among themselves that Nepal needs more than one billion dollar for rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in the post-conflict period. The white paper is expected to focus on how Nepal could be protected from becoming a ‘failed state’.

Ministry officials disclosed that the ‘white paper’ will also shed light on revenue mobilisation targets, economic growth rates, inflation control, foreign exchange management and rebuilding of damaged infrastructures.

It is to be noted that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has already assured Nepal of its aid at a recent meeting held in Hyderabad.

Meanwhile, ambassador of Pakistan to Nepal Sohail Amin met Dr Mahat at the latter’s office today. During the meeting, issues of bilateral cooperation, trade and investment between Nepal and Pakistan were discussed.

Similarly, Pauli Mustonen, Charge d’Affairs at the Finland embassy in Kathmandu, also met the finance minister today.

Finland has, while discussing with the minister, reiterated its continued support to the socio-economic development of Nepal, says a ministry of finance press statement.