AIIB promises huge investments in Nepal's infrastructure development

KATHMANDU: The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is set to invest hugely in Nepal's six projects, mainly in road infrastructure and hydro power projects.

The AIIB, meeting with the Nepali delegation headed by Finance Minster Gyanendra Bahadur Karki was held in Jeju of South Korea on June 16-18, pledged to invest heavily in the Nepal's infrastructure development and the Kathmandu Valley's electricity distribution improvement project.

Taking to media persons upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport from South Korea on Monday, Minister Karki said the AIIB was interested to invest in Nepal.

The China-led bank has said that it would invest Rs 10 billion in the power distribution improvement project that the government unveiled earlier bearing in mind the Valley's poor power distribution system, technical leakage and other problems that are prevalent for the past two decades.

According to Minister Karki, the AIIB has promised to provide some amount within a certain time. The Asian Development Bank is also to invest in this project.

Likewise, the AIIB has vowed to invest Rs 28 billion in the project relating to settlement development and systematic urbanization in the Tarai-Madhes.

Though this project covers 22 districts of the Tarai Madhes, in initial phase, the AIIB will be investing in seven districts.

The government in its budget of the current fiscal year has mentioned to invest Rs 500 million each on the projects.

According to Finance Minister Karki, the Infrastructure Bank is to invest on the tunnel road from Samakhusi of Kathmandu to Chhahare of Nuwakot district. The Bank is going to invest Rs 26 billion on this project, added Minister Karki.

Similarly, the Bank is going to invest Rs 16 billion on the project of upgrading Pokhara-Jomsom road. It has been believed that there would be help in economic development of province no 4 as well as in expansion of road connectivity between Nepal and China after upgrading of the road.

Saying the Bank has also expressed commitment to invest in hydropower projects, the Finance Minister said that process for investing Rs 20 billion on 93 MW-Sharada-Babai hydropower project has been forwarded.

Likewise, there would be investment of Rs 18 billion of the Bank in the 87-MW Tamakoshi Hydropower Project (Fifth). The Bank has signed agreement in this regard.

Finance Secretary Shantaraj Subedi said that the concerned ministries would get the amount soon after submitting the Detailed Project Report of the projects.

Subedi also shared that the Ministry of Finance and Investment Board are preparing to develop Project Bank and will invest in good projects. Subedi added that the developing country like Nepal could be specially benefited from the bank as UK, Canada and china were preparing to invest in the bank.

Joint secretary at the Ministry Baikuntha Aryal shared that the Minister Karki-led team while remaining in South Korea had consulted with chair, vice chair and other responsible officials of the bank regarding the investment.

The Ministry further committed to focus on monitoring mechanism to properly utilise funds received from the donor agencies.

The meeting had held discussions on the modality adopted by the Infrastructure Bank regarding implementation of the 'Efficient, Clean and Green bank' for environment-friendly infrastructure development and less or zero carbon emission project aimed at meeting the requirements of qualitative infrastructure development.

The South Korean President Moon Jae-In had inaugurated the meeting and Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister had chaired it.