Nepal donor consultation meet : Keep in mind Nepal’s geography, PM tells donors

Kathmandu, February 21:

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, inaugurating Nepal Donors Consultation Meeting here today, urged international community to consider landlocked nature of Nepal while projecting any programmes for it. “Being a landlocked country, the emotions of people and situation are different from others, therefore, we need full cooperation from our development partners,” the premier said.

“As land-locked country has its own problems, Nepalis think that being land-locked is one of the disadvantages,” he said.

Expressing gratitude to the international community for their support for a struggle to restore democracy in Nepal, the octogenarian Prime Minister also led emphasis on April 10 Constituent Assembly Election that is going to address everyone’s grievances.

Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat, on the occasion, said that the meeting is to apprise the donor community about immediate development priorities and peace process. “A full-fledged National Development Forum will be held in 2008, after the CA polls, where Nepal will seek international funding,” he said adding that this one is a face-to-face consultation rather then pledging forum. He also gave the overview of recent economic situation of the country. “The revenue collection has been satisfactory, tele-density increasing and GDP is looking upwards,” he concluded, adding that there is a light at the tunnels’ end.

Nepal has brought three-year interim plan for its transition period and has invited its all well-wishers to discuss on peace-process, CA poll and development needs.

On behalf of development partners, Linqun Jin, vice-president of Asian Development Bank said that Nepal is passing through a critical moment in its history.

“This moment calls for the strongest leadership and vision. The successful implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Accord and subsequent agreements are vital,” he said.

Finance secretary Vidyadhar Mallik, welcomed the participants, while, Krishna Gyawali, joint secretary, Foreign Aid Coordination Division at the Ministry of Finance thanked them.

Meanwhile, civil society members demonstrated accusing the government for excluding them in the meeting. “We strongly oppose the opaque and exclusionary decision of the government and urge to ensure Civil Society participation,” said Dr Arjun Karki, president of NGO Federation.