World Bank to lend fund to im­ple­ment fed­er­al­ism

People's Review - - FRONT PAGE - By Our Re­porter

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Dr. Yubraj Khati­wada has re­turned home af­ter at­tend­ing the meet­ing of the Word Bank with a hope that the WB would pro­vide needed sup­port for the ef­fec­tive im­ple­men­ta­tion of fed­er­al­ism in Nepal. The gov­ern­ment of Nepal is now in need of more in­ter­na­tional sup­port and debt to pay the po­lit­i­cal job hold­ers like law­mak­ers of the pro­vin­cial as­sem­blies and lo­cal level rep­re­sen­ta­tives. When the lo­cal re­sources are not enough to pay the large num­ber of po­lit­i­cal job hold­ers cre­ated in the di­rect in­ter­fer­ence of the western­ers, the gov­ern­ment has been ex­pect­ing more grant and loan to meet the in­creas­ing ad­min­is­tra­tive costs.

The World Bank Group's sup­port will in­crease sub­stan­tially from 2019 as its board of ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tors have dis­cussed and en­dorsed the new Coun­try Part­ner­ship Frame­work (CPF) for the next five years (201923), Fi­nance Min­is­ter Yubaraj Khati­wada said af­ter re­turn­ing home last week.

“I can­not con­firm the ex­act amount of in­cre­ment, it would de­pend on the cost­ing of the de­vel­op­ment needs based on the CPF, but the WBG board of ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tors has as­sured to dou­ble the fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance.”

Cur­rently, World Bank's an­nual lend­ing port­fo­lio for Nepal is around $200 mil­lion to $300 mil­lion and to­tal port­fo­lio in 22 projects un­der the con­ces­sional loan of In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion (IDA) hov­ers at $1.7 bil­lion.

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Khati­wada told jour­nalisst at TIA that said that the CPF has been de­vel­oped as per the in­her­ent needs of the coun­try in line with the gov­ern­ment's vi­sion. Based on the CPF, the mul­ti­lat­eral de­vel­op­ment part­ner will sup­port not only through con­ces­sional fi­nanc­ing via IDA but also fa­cil­i­tate pri­vate sec­tor fi­nanc­ing from In­ter­na­tional Fi­nance Cor­po­ra­tion (IFC), ac­cord­ing to the fi­nance min­is­ter.

“We can ex­pect the sup­port from the World Bank to dou­ble from 2019,” he said.

Stat­ing that the coun­try re­quires huge re­sources for ex­e­cu­tion of the fun­da­men­tal rights guaranteed by the new con­sti­tu­tion and in­clu­sive de­vel­op­ment, Khati­wada said that he has sought sup­port from ev­ery win­dow of the World Bank Group.

The fi­nance min­is­ter also urged the WBG to look into other po­ten­tial ar­eas of sup­port for Nepal's de­vel­op­ment. Nepal has also been ob­tain­ing bud­getary sup­port from the World Bank as re­ward for its re­form in fi­nan­cial sec­tor sta­bil­ity and pub­lic fi­nance man­age­ment. Nepal's pro­posal for bud­getary as­sis­tance of $100 mil­lion un­der en­ergy sec­tor re­form will be sub­mit­ted to the board of ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tors dur­ing their meet­ing in Septem­ber, as per the fi­nance min­is­ter.

Khati­wada had also ad­dressed the ‘Nepal Day' event jointly hosted by the World Bank and the Em­bassy of Nepal in Wash­ing­ton.

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