Nepal’s transition to federalism received a shot in the arm with the World Bank (WB)’s approval of USD 266 million for boosting the country’s public financial management and irrigation.
Out of this aid, the USD 200 million (~ Rs 20.9 billion) allocated for public financial management will enable the Government of Nepal to implement the Intergovernmental Fiscal Management Act, draft the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Bill and improve budget execution, among others.
The other USD 66 million (~ Rs 6.9 billion) credit will be utilized for modernizing Phase 2 of the Rani Jamara Kulariya Irrigation Scheme.
The WB Board of Executive Directors underlined their strategic shift towards supporting federalism, and promoting accountability and transparency. The officials reiterated their full support to Nepal’s efforts in achieving inclusive development in coordination with other development partners.
“Nepal today is at a historic juncture as it transitions from a unitary to a federal democratic republic. Expectations are high that the new structure will deliver on greater equity and accountability. This operation will help establish a fiscal framework that will ensure that the newly elected governments can deliver better services to all Nepali citizens.” said Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.
The WB Group has been supporting Nepal’s developmental efforts ever since the first economic mission was fielded to Nepal in 1963. Till date, the Group provided an assistance of USD 4.75 billion which includes USD 3.48 billion in credits and USD 1.27 billion in grants.
Currently, 22 WB projects amounting to a total of USD 2.32 billion are in active status, including five projects in the energy sector and four each in the agriculture and education sectors.