MoF hall chosen as venue; switch away from hotels lauded
KATHMANDU, Oct 19: A meeting to review the progress of different development projects funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is set to be held at the premise of Ministry of Finance (MoF) in Kathmandu on Thursday.
The organizers of the meeting say they have decided move away from holding the event at hotels and decided on the MoF hall as the venue this year.
A few project managers that Republica talked to said the venue change was a positive move and may also foster project-ownership among government officials.
The meeting, also called tripartite portfolio, will cover projects in energy, communication, water and other urban development, transport, agriculture, natural resources and rural development, post-earthquake reconstruction, and education. This is the third tripartite review meeting in 2016.
Talking to Republica, Finance Secretary Shanta Raj Subedi said the review meetings were jointly organized, so the parties involved wanted to use available logistics, including meeting halls. ADB will foot the food bill, he said. “It is not appropriate to hold such meetings in stared hotels when we own well-equipped meeting halls,” Subedi says.
Traditionally, such meetings have been held at hotels in the past.
Subedi said the MoF venue was also easier for ministry officials.
Development partners often accuse government officials of not being serious about project implementation.
Subedi says the move showed that the ministry wanted to be serious and also make project managers serious about implementing projects.
In an email reply, Arjun B Kumal, the senior external relations officer of ADB’s Nepal Resident Mission, said: “This time the review meeting is being held at the Finance Ministry so the government owns the outcome of the meeting for a better portfolio performance.”
Review meetings are held once every quarter of Gregorian calendar year.
ADB’s current portfolio is US$ 1.7 billion spread across 32 different projects.
The portfolio consists of loan and grant assistance. Secretaries of the concerned projects and project managers from the ministries and departments attend and they discuss progress.
Melamchi Water Supply Project, Kathmandu Valley Waste Water Management, Tanahu Hydropower Project, Bagmati River Basin Improvement, Air Transport Capacity Enhancement, Electricity Transmission Expansion and Supply Improvement, Kathmandu Sustainable Urban Transport Project, projects of earthquake reconstruction and education comprises Supporting School Sector Development Plan and Skills Development Project.