Nepal plans donors’ conference

Kathmandu, May 9:

A top official at the ministry of finance (MoF) disclosed today that Nepal would soon call a donors’ meet to explore ways to expedite the country’s economic development in the post-conflict situation.

Nepal’s major donors are the World Bank, IMF, ADB, UNDP, DFID, India, Japan, the US, the EU, Norway, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands.

Pramod Kumar Karki, joint secretary at MoF who attended the Asian Development Bank (ADB) meeting recently in the capacity of alternate governor while he was the acting finance secretary, said that ADB’s president Haruhiko Kuroda had assured him of aid to Nepal.

Kuroda has asked for detailed plans and programmes from Nepal.

Karki said that his meeting in Hyderabad with ADB president Kuroda has ended successfully.

Donors have hinted that they would provide aid to Nepal if peace is established and stability is ensured, Rameshwore Khanal, joint secretary at the ministry of finance under foreign aid coordination division (FACD) informed today.

According to the ministry officials as per the rough estimates, Nepal needs more

than $1.2 billion for the reconstruction for which the ministry is working out certain mechanisms.

Nepal’s revenue growth has already turned negative by 3.1 per cent as per the recent announcement of Nepal Rastra Bank’s governor (NRB) Bijay Nath Bhattarai.

At the recently held ADB meeting in Hyderabad issues of ‘reconstruction and rehabilitation’ were discussed.

The Nepali government officials at the ADB meet had said that income inequalities within the country had fuelled insurgency and conflict.

“Nepal also sought regional cooperation and integration in the area of trade, investment and cross border infrastructure development,” according to ministry officials.

Karki said good infrastructure will surely attract new investments in manufacturing and service sector.

“Investors need better governance, policy environment and a larger base of skilled human resource,” he added.

In spite of the decade-long conflict, the Nepali economy has shown resilience mainly because of a tight fiscal policy, increasing remittance and implementation of various reform programmes, said Karki.

Since 2002, GDP growth rate has slowed down to an average of two per cent per annum. Preliminary estimates indicate that the growth rate will not exceed two per cent at the end of this current fiscal year as well, Karki feared.