Nepal and World Bank sign Rs 52.75 crore concessional loan agreements
Finance Minister Krishna Hari Pushkar (R) and World Bank Country Director for Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka Faris Hadad-Zervous (L) signed concessional financing agreements worth Rs. 52.75 billion in the presence of Finance Minister Janardan Sharma (C) on Sunday in Kathmandu.
KATHMANDU: The World Bank (WB) has agreed to provide loans of Rs. 52.75 crore to Nepal on concessional terms.
Both parties signed concessional financing agreements for Rs 34.96 billion (US$275 million) for Accelerating Nepal’s Regional Transport and Trade Connectivity (ACCESS) project and Rs 17.79 billion (US$140 million) for Digital Nepal Acceleration (DNA) project.
The agreements were signed by Finance Minister Krishna Hari Pushkar on behalf of the Government and World Bank Country Director for Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka Faris Hadad-Zervous in the presence of Finance Minister Janardan Sharma and WB Vice President for South Asia Martin Raiser. the World Bank Nepal said in a press release.
On that occasion, the finance minister said: “The projects will help unlock Nepal’s economic potential through better connectivity and trade, increased digital engagement of people and businesses, and access to regional markets to support socio-economic development in an inclusive way. ”
The ACCESS project will upgrade the 69 km dual carriageway section of the Butwal-Gorusinghe-Chandrauta road along the East-West Highway to a climate-resilient 4-lane highway.
With a focus on ensuring better transport safety, the project aims to reduce travel time by 30 percent, allowing better access to India’s western seaports. The project will establish at least three market areas along the highway with the necessary internet and trade information facilities to improve economic opportunities, especially for women entrepreneurs and traders.
Similarly, the Digital Nepal Acceleration Project supports the implementation of the Digital Nepal Framework, the country’s digital economy strategy announced by the government in 2019. The project will mobilize private capital to improve access to broadband services in rural areas, benefiting people and businesses currently not connected to a quality and affordable internet connection.
It will also support and secure the delivery of digital government services through improvements in Nepal’s public data infrastructure and cybersecurity capabilities, and improve access to digital services for women, ethnic and social minorities and people with disabilities.
“The World Bank is committed to supporting regional integration and digital transformation in Nepal to ensure the country’s trade growth, long-term sustainability and investment resilience, and enable an innovative digital economy,” said the WB Country Director.