KATHMANDU, Sept 11: The Government of Nepal has signed an agreement with the Asian Development Bank to receive a loan of US$ 150 million (approximately Rs 15 billion) to implement electricity transmission lines and distribution efficiency enhancement projects. Likewise, the ADB has also provided grants of US$ 2 million from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction to the government of Nepal.
The Power Transmission and Distribution Efficiency Enhancement Project will support expansion of transmission lines in different parts of the country. The project tasks include construction of transmission lines, upgrading of sub-stations in Barhabise, Laphsiphedi, Khimti, and Chapagaun areas, and rehabilitation and capacity enhancement of distribution system in the Kathmandu Valley. The project is of 4.5 years’ duration.
Finance Secretary Shanta Raj Subedi and Officer-in-Charge of Nepal Resident Mission of ADB Sharad Bhandari signed the loan agreement at the Ministry of Finance in Kathmandu on Sunday. Likewise, managing director of Nepal Electricity Authority Kulman Ghishing and ADB officer Bhandari signed the project agreement on the same occasion.
The ADB is also providing US $ 21 million (approximately Rs 2.13 billion) for policy-based loan assistance to Nepal and the amount will be utilized in implementation of SASEC (South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation) customs reforms and modernization for trade facilitation program. The assistance will be mobilized through the government’s budget mechanism.
The main objective of this program is to increase the access of legitimate trade for simplification, harmonization, and modernization of trade processes, a press statement issued by the Ministry of Finance stated. With this project, the government has expected to improve national policy and legal framework for trade facilitation, customs procedures, strengthening of organizational structure and capacity of Department of Customs. The program will cover the whole customs administration and its offices throughout the country.