MoC assures WBG about NIRTTP implementation

Kathmandu, July 31

The Ministry of Commerce (MoC) has tried to assuage the concerns raised by World Bank Group (WBG) about slow progress of some of the components under the Nepal-India Regional Trade and Transport Project (NIRTTP) stating that it is moving ahead in the right track and expressed commitment to implement each component in timely manner.

Citing the snail-paced progress of some of project components, the WBG had warned the government that some of the components under the project could be dropped.

Team leader of the project Diep Nguyen-Van Houtte had expressed concerns over the execution of sanitary and phytosanitary lab building and inland clearance depot at Chobhar, as these components are moving ahead very slowly.

During the review meeting of the project, Ravi Shankar Sainju, joint secretary at MoC, said the government is confident regarding execution of these components. “All components are doable and moving ahead in right track.” The MoC and the World Bank have been reviewing the progress of the project every six months, after the implementation of the project started in September of 2013. The project comprises three major components — transport-transit modernisation between Nepal and India, trade-related infrastructure development and capacity development of trade-related institutions.

The project is estimated to cost $101 million — of which, $99 million will be financed by International Development Association and $2 million by International Finance Corporation of WBG — and is expected to be instrumental in lowering trade-related costs.