FinMin seeks AIIB support for infra development
Kathmandu, June 26
Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada has sought assistance from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) — China sponsored multilateral development agency — to meet the financing and other capacity gaps in the public and
private sectors keeping infrastructure development under due priority.
Addressing the annual meeting of the board of governors of the AIIB being held in Mumbai today, Minister Khatiwada said that the
government of Nepal has plans to construct 2,000 km of railways; generate 15,000 megawatts of electricity and construct 70,000 km of roads, including highways and roads, for regional connectivity in the next 10 years.
“We also have an agenda to construct additional international airports, hotels and other tourism infrastructure to bring in five million tourists by 2027 and are committed to ensuring renewable energy and basic water supply for all in three years’ time along with addressing unfinished millennium development agendas,” the statement issued by the Ministry of
Finance quoted the finance minister as saying in the annual meeting.
Finance Minister Khatiwada highlighted the huge infrastructure gap in Nepal that has hampered the country from moving
forward. Lack of robust connectivity is the major bottleneck, as per the minister. He has underscored that at least 50 per cent of gross domestic product needs to be invested in infrastructure development to meet the Sustainable Development Goals alone during the entire period till 2030, and this translates to public sector financing gap of more than 10 per cent of GDP on an average, for the entire SDG period, reads the statement.
“As more than half of such SDG investment requirement is in infrastructure, I see a great role that AIIB can play for meeting the SDG infrastructure financing gap.”
Finance Minister Khatiwada further shed light on the government’s vision of ‘Prosperous Nepal and Happy Nepali’ with an objective of graduating from least developed country status to a lower middle income country by 2022 and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. “To achieve this, the country needs huge investment in infrastructure, connectivity, tourism and energy for accelerating economic growth to double-digit level and ending all kinds of poverty,” the statement has quoted the finance minister.
“There is large investment opportunity for both the public and private sectors and such investments carry attractive rates of return.”
Minister Khatiwada also spoke about Nepal’s geographical advantage of linking two of the largest economies of Asia — India and China — which are also the largest markets and Nepal’s new administrative practice of three tiers of government under the federal set up to expedite the development activities equally across the country through optimal level of decentralisation under which 753 elected governments have been formed at the local level and seven in the provinces apart from the federal government, as per the statement of the Finance Ministry.