Feel good Inc.

Recognising the success of the Jana Andolan II, friendly nations and donor agencies have agreed to support Nepal’s reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts on a larger scale. This is reflected in the fact that the grants and loans pledged to the government totals to Rs. 14.54 billion. Of the pledge, the ADB has for the first time agreed to provide assistance in the form of a grant to the tune of Rs. 4.12 billion for the implementation of ‘road connectivity in Nepal.’ Likewise India — in keeping with its pledge to Prime Minister G P Koirala during his visit to New Delhi in June — has handed over Rs. 1.6 billion as part of its economic aid package to Nepal.

The foreign aid that has started pouring in is meant for Nepal’s socio-economic development. Utmost care should thus be taken to ensure that the development process is not hindered, and more importantly, that it is utilised properly. Infrastructural development in the form of roads and communication facilities are vital to economic development as well as for attracting foreign investments and expanding domestic markets. The people generally seem to be indifferent to the quantum of foreign aid the government may receive. This is so because they somehow feel that the public has not benefited so much by foreign aid. The perception is that aid/grant money has largely been misused. The need here is to maintain transparency in all monetary deals and to ensure that the aid gets utilised for the uplift of the poor. Unless an effective anti-corruption oversight mechanism is put in place, this goal will largely remain unrealised.