Kathmandu, January 19
Nepal will soon approach Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for funding support to implement mega projects.
Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Paudel, while talking to media persons upon his arrival from China at Tribhuvan International Airport today, said that the government will soon submit the list of projects to the AIIB, being mindful of bridging the infrastructure gap to graduate to the league of developing countries by 2022 and middle-income countries by 2030.
The country can receive the fund for selection and preparation of projects from the AIIB, as the government of China has announced to chip in additional $50 million in the bank to support least developed countries (LDCs) in project selection and preparation.
“We will submit the names of the projects related to hydropower generation, installation of transmission lines and some strategic road networks to AIIB,” said the finance minister.
“North-south road networks — Koshi corridor, Karnali corridor and Kaligandaki corridor — could be developed with support from the AIIB.” The Koshi corridor links northern neighbour from Kimathanka of Sankhuwasabha, Karnali corridor from Hilsa of Humla district and Kaligandaki corridor from Korala Pass-Jomsom.
Finance Minister also floated names of some hydropower projects — Nalsing Gad, Lower Arun and Tamakoshi III — that could be developed through AIIB’s funding.
Finance Minister Paudel was in China to take part in the Board of Governors meeting of AIIB from January 16 to 17.
Nepal is also the founding member of AIIB and holds 0.0809 per cent share in the bank. Nepal can enjoy the facility to pay for its shares in AIIB in instalments — $1.6 million each year for next 10 years — according to the finance
China has the majority share in the bank — 298,804 shares out of the total one million shares.
Nepal was also elected in 12-member board of directors team of the bank.
Jin Liqun, who had earlier served as the vice president of the Asian Development Bank, has been elected as the bank’s president for a five-year term.
During his China visit, Minister Paudel also met with his Chinese counterpart, Lou Jiwei and talked on the areas of broad cooperation, including fuel supply to Nepal. Finance Minister also said that during the meeting, he also drew attention of the counterpart to open the Lhasa-Tatopani trade route at the earliest. Tatopani is the major trade route with the northern neighbour. However, some sections of the road and customs office in Tatopani were ravaged during the earthquakes of April and May.
A version of this article appears in print on January 20, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.