Monday, February 3, 2014

Low capital spending limits disbursement at 35 percent

KATHMANDU, Feb 3: Total disbursements of the World Bank (WB) for its ongoing projects in the country have stood at only 35 percent of the target due to low capital spending over the first six months of the current fiscal year.

Donors disburse the amount committed to the government in proportion to the progress in capital expenditure in the projects supported by them.
“Only US$ 64 million has been disbursed in WB-supported projects against the target of $182 million during the review period ending mid-January,” Madhu Kumar Marasini, chief of International Economic Cooperation Coordination Division at the Ministry of Finance (MoF), told Republica on Monday. “Out of total commitment worth $1.5 billion made so far for various ongoing projects, only $750 million has been disbursed.”

A total of 20 WB-funded projects are under different phase of implementation across the country.
Meanwhile, a trimester-review meeting over implementation and future action plan of projects supported by the WB was held on Monday. At the meeting, seven projects being run under WB support was designated as problematic and potentially problematic projects on the basis of weak implementation during the first four months of current fiscal year.
The review meeting was organized jointly by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and the WB Nepal office.

The meeting named Emerging Towns Project of Urban Development Sector, Road Sector Development Project and Bridge Improvement and Maintenance Project of physical infrastructure sector, Kabeli Transmission Project of energy sector and Enhanced Vocational Education and Training Project under education sector as problematic. Similarly, Nepal Health Sector Program and ´Sunaula Hazar Din´ project have been named potentially problematic projects.

“Some problematic projects, which are running in their final years under designated completion period, have reported less than 17 percent progress in term of disbursement volume,” Marasini added.

At the meeting, officials from both government and the WB extensively reviewed the current status of the projects and discussed on pertinent problems and measures to be taken to resolve them.

At the meeting, WB officials voiced concerned over low disbursement, delay in submitting implementation action plan, delay in producing audit reports, transfer of key staff of the projects, low capital expenditure, lengthy documentation process set by the government for project implementation, and lack of coordination among line agencies, among other issues.

Johannes Zutt, WB Country Director for Nepal, urged the government to give special attention for speeding up implementation of projects, lowering transfer of staff members, enhancing spending capacity in projects, and promoting good governance.

Terming the meeting a ´milestone´ for the success of the WB-funded projects, Zutt stressed the need to seriously address arising in project implementation.
Speaking on the occasion, Finance Secretary Shanta Raj Subedi expressed commitment to seriously monitor the implementation of donor-funded projects.

Published on 2014-02-03 23:51:41

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