Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat has asked the World Bank to invest in infrastructure projects in Nepal.

Since the government is able to finance social services from its internal resources, the World Bank should concentrate on infrastructure development, like roads and energy sector, he said, at a meeting with the visiting World bank team, here at his office yesterday afternoon. “The cost of the infrastructure projects is higher in Nepal due to topography.”

Soon, the government is going to announce common minimum programmes that would help boost confidence of the private sector, Mahat added.

The team – including eight board members of the World bank Group – Sundaran annamalai, Shixin Chen, executive director Jörg Frieden, Denny Hamachila Kalyalya, Agapito Mendes Dias, Wilhelm Michael Rissmann, Wilhelm Michael Rissmann, Bok-Hwan Yu, Sara Margalit Aviel, Shahrol Anuwar Sarman, David Kolitagane, Samir Suleymanov and Julijana Amiel was accompanied by World Bank Nepal director Johannes Zutt and IFC country manager Kyle Kelhofer – also indicated that infrastructure will be a key focus area for the bank’s future assistance to Nepal.

Better connectivity and hydropower are the two areas the bank is looking for technically and economically sound and reasonable proposal to invest in Nepal, said the visitors, who are planning to travel  to Pokhara from Kathmandu by road to get first-hand account of the road condition. They will also visit Upper Trishuli 1 and Upper Tamakoshi hydropower projects.

The team also said that they see Nepal as a country that needs more resources and the bank will try its best to facilitate better mobilisation possible.

Saying that the economy needs attention to support the political transition, they said that economic performance will help support smooth transition.

Meanwhile, Mahat today said that constitution writing and economic development are the incumbent government’s priority.

The government will take both the responsibility – economic development and constitution writing – simultaneously, he said, adding that holding local election is also the third priority.

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