Japan, WB to Support Hydropower Development: FM Pun

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    Kathmandu: The Japanese government, World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC) have committed to support Nepal on the development of hydropower sector.

    “The government of Japan has said it would soon provide US$ 150 million for developing Tanahu Hydropower development project,” said Finance Miniter Barsha Man Pun.

    Pun, who returned from the 67th annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank group in Tokyo, on Wednesday said that the World Bank and IFC too have shown keen interest to invest in development of transmission lines in Nepal-India border area. He further added that the World Bank was ready to speed up the work of Kabeli Hydroelectric project.

    Interacting with the press at the Tribhuvan Internationa Airport, Finance Minister Pun said the government would soon endorse a ´common economic agenda (CEA), bringing all opposition parties on board, for announcing the full-fledged budget for the fiscal year 2012/13.

    “We will not bring a full-fledged budget without a political consensus. Rather the government is working on CEA with the help of senior economists,” Pun said.

    Pun also said the government was acting cautiously to avoid the confrontation with other political parties so that it could come up with much-needed fiscal policies at the earliest.

    The government has formed a team of economists affiliated with all major political parties and also independent experts to develop the CEA. “Our belief is; the CEA developed by the team of economists will be agreeable for all the political parties,” Pun said. “As a finance minister, I also request the top leaders of all the political parties to forge a consensus on full-fledged budget and CEA.”

    Former FMs lambaste govt´s new programs

    Former Finance Ministers have lambasted the government´s 201-point new immediate programs, citing it as an outcome of intellectual bankruptcy and attempt to mislead public expenditure.

    “The economic situation of the country is worsening badly each day. Most of the macro economic indicators are not well performing and investment climate is deteriorating,” a press release issued jointly by a group of former finance ministers including, Dr Ram Sharan Mahat, Dr Praksah Chandra Lohani, Surendra Pandey and Bharat Mohan Adhikari, said.

    “The country is in a dire need of a full-fledged budget and that can be brought only through the broader political consensus,” states the statement. “It´s immoral and irresponsible for an acting government to introduce new program that have a long term effect and increase the economic burden to the country.”

    Similarly, the group of former FMs has charged the government of distributing cash to its party cadres. “The government is distributing money to the cadres of the parties in the government in name of victims of conflict and marginalized people,” reads the release.

    Protesting the government´s move to bring new programs and projects, the group of former finance ministers has warned that no governments in the future would continue those programs.

    Source : Republic