ADB tells Nepal to improve project performance to get more funds

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday has urged Nepal to improve it's project implementation performance, if they are to get more funds for development projects in its country because doing that is the only getting the fund will be possible.

 The ADB has increased the annual lending level to Nepal from about USD 254 million a year on average during 2014-16 to an annual average of USD 551 million in 2017-18, said Manila-based ADB Director General for South Asia, Diwesh Sharan, during a programme here. 

 Improved portfolio performance will help the country to sustain and further tap opportunities for increased lending space provided by the ADB, he said. 

Sharan was speaking at the opening of the annual Tripartite Portfolio Review of ADB operations in Nepal. 

"After recording the highest disbursement and contract awards in 2016 and 2017, the overall performance of ADB operations in Nepal has been lagging behind in 2018," he said.

 Of the net available funding amount of USD 2.8 billion spread over 36 investment projects - 31 loans and 5 grants - 44 per cent is still to be contracted and 64 per cent is still to be disbursed. 

The ongoing federalism implementation process has posed some challenges along with the current inadequate fiduciary, technical and project supervision capacity, observed Shrinkhala Nepal, joint secretary, International Economic Cooperation Coordination Division, Ministry of Finance. 

Nevertheless, a realistic action plan to remove key constraints could accelerate the project implementation performance of the ADB-funded projects, he said. 

"We will continue to tackle the systematic constraints as well as project-specific problems with strong partnership with the government, said Mukhtor Khamudkhnov," ADB country director for Nepal.

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