KATHMANDU, March 21: The World Bank Group has approved a US$ 200 million (equivalent to Rs 20.6 billion) credit to the government to improve public financial management.
The credit is a part of Fiscal and Public Financial Management Development Policy Credit and is the first in a two-part program to support the government in establishing a framework for fiscal federalism and improved public financial management, according to a statement issued by the bank on Wednesday.
“Nepal today is at a historic juncture as it transitions from a unitary to a federal democratic republic. Expectations are high that the new structure will deliver on greater equity and accountability,” World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal Qimiao Fan is quoted in the statement. “This operation will help establish a fiscal framework that will ensure that the newly elected governments can deliver better services to all Nepali citizens.”
The World Bank further said that this operation will support implementation of the Intergovernmental Fiscal Arrangement Act; establishment of the National Natural Resources and Fiscal Commission; adoption of the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Bill; strengthening of public financial management systems; improvements in budget execution; and reforms to improve revenue collection.
$66 MILLION FOR RANI JAMARA KULARIYA IRRIGATION PROJECT
The World Bank has also approved a separate US$ 66 million credit to modernize Phase 2 of Rani Jamara Kulariya Irrigation Scheme.
“The project will modernize sub-branches, tertiary canals and watercourses so that irrigation water can reach farmer fields with optimal flows. It will also help strengthen Water User Associations and provide agriculture production support,” the World Bank statement read.
In Phase 1, which closed in September 2017, the project upgraded intakes and feeder canals and initiated an agriculture development program, according to the statement.