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Finance Minister asks ADB to increase aid

Since Nepal is planning to graduate to developing country status from the current least developed country (LDC), it needs huge investment, finance minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat briefed visiting Asian Development Bank (ADB) vice president Juan Miranda, here at his office.

The country has been passing through the transition that is almost coming to an end, and Nepal will focus on economic growth, he said, adding that the development partners like ADB must increase their assistance to Nepal to help graduate to developing country.

Lauding the bank’s assistance for Gautam Buddha Airport in Bhairahawa, Mahat asked Miranda to increase assistance in infrastructure development that could help Nepal boost economic growth. “Nepal will further accelerate the economic reforms that it started in 90s, and the ADB that is preparing the five-year country strategy paper should help Nepal achieve higher economic growth.”

Miranda, who is in Nepal to take first hand stock of the latest situation, said that the bank is willing to increase assistance to Nepal. “However, the government should decentralise procedural authority to expedite the ADB-funded projects,” he said, adding that the bank can increase assistance as it has increased its capital. “If the government expedite the current projects, the bank is willing to help more,” he reaffirmed.