South Asia Forum on
VOL. 06, NO. 01, June 08, 2012 (Jestha 26, 2069)
Public Participation and Accountability in the
Government officials and civil society representatives from Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan are meeting in Kathmandu to share their experiences on public participation and accountability in the budget process.
The forum is organized by World Bank Institute (WBI), the Program for Accountability in Nepal (PRAN) and the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability-South Asia (ANSA-SAR).
“The World Bank has embarked on an ambitious Openness Agenda. Transparency, accountability and citizen participation are all central to this citizen- oriented approach,” said Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Country Manager for Nepal.
“The World Bank realizes that one of the best things that can be provided to the beneficiaries of development interventions is easy-to-use data and access to information from across the globe. We now clearly understand that open access to data and information empowers citizen, advocacy groups and their governments and their policy makers, to make better-informed judgments. It allows Governments and citizens to monitor implementation progress and track development results more accurately,” she said.
The forum will provide participants with an overview of social accountability approaches and relevant tools for independent budget analysis, expenditure tracking, budget demystification and dissemination, procurement monitoring, and monitoring of service delivery.
The forum intends to serve as a kick off for devising country level action agenda on greater budget accountability at national and local level.
Pandey Elected CIB Chair
Siddhant Raj Pandey, CEO of Ace Development Bank, has been elected as the chairman of the Credit Information Bureau (CIB). The 63rd meeting of the CIB board of directors gave Pandey the responsibility till 2073.
The meeting also elected Min Bahadur Shrestha executive director of Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB); Ajay Shrestha, CEO of Bank of Kathmandu; Jyoti Prakash Pandey, general manager of Nepal Investment Bank; Kamal Prasad Gyawali, CEO of Kist Bank; Ram Bhakta Khadka from Agriculture Development Bank; and Rajendra Man Shakya, president of Finance Companies’ Association; as board members, according to a CIB press release.
Views of business leaders of Nepal
Binod Kumar Chaudhary, CNI President
As the Constituent Assembly was dissolved without promulgating a constitution, we cannot call the dissolution natural. The hard work that we have put in has gone in vain because of the few top leaders of the political parties. The main mistake was that the CA members trusted the top leaders and gave them opportunities to resolve the disputes. If we had been able to hold discussions within the CA building, the country would have definitely got a new constitution. We have honestly fulfilled all our responsibilities and our only mistake was to trust the leaders. CA was dissolved without even giving information to the CA members. New elections will not be easy for the country.
Rs. 25 billion constitution
Rajendra Khetan, chairman of Khetan Group
My four year tenure as a member of the CA was very exciting. I’m very satisfied from the role that I have played in the CA, especially regarding the private sector concerns and for the new economic policy formation for the country. But our efforts have been a waste. We cannot be held responsible for that. To see federalism being used as weapon for CA dissolution was very disappointing.
The new CA election is not easy. We have already spent 15 billion rupees and now it looks like it will take a total to 25 billion rupees after another CA election and then for the promulgation of the new constitution.
Do not put the blame on us
Vice president of Golchha Organisation
I cannot still understand why the decision to dissolve the CA was taken when 90 percent of the tasks were already completed.If there were issues regarding federalism, they could have been addressed from the CA meeting. Although there were talks of the agreement in the multiple identity based federalism, but it has amazed us that the CA was dissolved.
Although the task of state restructuring put our efforts of four years in vain, the achievements should be preserved. Even if the new CA is formed, the new constitution cannot be made by staring from zero. We as CA members have fulfilled our duties in the four years of CA and are ready to face the public if needed in the future. So, do not put the blame on us. There was no situation to dissolve the CA and we cannot be responsible for that.
Don’t repeat the same fate
Shrawan Kumar Agrawal
Chairman of Marwari Sewa Samiti
What we have spent doing in four years is completely recorded in the CA secretariat records. Even if there is new election, it is necessary to move forward by looking at our past works. In my view, if we again try to discuss on the already agreed issues, it will be disastrous for the nation but it is also the work area of the new constitution.
The new CA election is not easy. It is difficult economically as well. We have already wasted billions of rupees. Now, if we cannot make a good constitution by again wasting time and money, it would be disastrous for the nation. We have seen this situation by depending on the few leaders of few political parties. Hope nobody will have to suffer the same fate in the future.
We could have produced 200 MW electricity
Suraj Vaidya, FNCCI president
The main reason of the CA dissolution was due to the lack of balance between the limited national resources and unlimited wants of the various religious, ethnic, and regional forces. It’s also not that, no work was done in the four years. Rather than being focused on the constitution, our leaders were fixated on the power game, so the new constitution didn’t get any of their priority.
More than 9 billion rupees was spent for the constitution. More than 20 billion rupees in support came from the international market. From that much of investment, we could have produced 200 Mega Watts electricity and the water from Melamchi would also have reached the valley.
(Compiled from various national newspapers)
New Budget Will Come From Consensus
Finance Minister Barsha Man Pun recently said that the budget of the next fiscal year 2012/13 will be formulated only with consensus of all the political parties.
“Although there are differences on the political issues, there are no differences on the economic agenda between the political parties,” he said.
Minister Pun also assured that government will provide all necessary support to the private sector of the country.
According to the finance ministry, NRs. 190 billion of revenue was collected as of April 2012. The amount is 98.62 per cent of the total target. However, the government’s expenditure is NRs. 190.42 billion which is only 49.47 per cent of the appropriated amount.
Rs. 44 Billion Support Assurance
For the construction of Upper Seti Hydroelectric Project, five donor companies have assured to invest 44 billion rupees (490 million US dollar) in the project.
The project which was being constructed by Nepal Electricity Authority, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Investment Bank (EBI), Saudi Fund for Development, Abu Dhabi fund for development has agreed on the support.
According to the Finance Secretary, preparations are underway for the agreement on the investment.
The government is planning to develop the project for the internal consumption as the power crisis has crippled the country’s economy. According to estimation, in the next 8 years, it is expected that Nepal will need some 2052 Mega Watts of electricity.
The finance secretary also said that the hopes of huge foreign investment in the country have risen after the assurance at a press conference at the finance ministry.
Investment Potential For Energy
FC, a member of the World Bank Group, has released a study that finds significant investment potential for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in 10 selected industrial sectors in Nepal, enabling financial institutions to develop their sustainable energy lending.
The South Asia Enterprise Development Facility, managed by IFC in partnership with the UK Department for International Development and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, carried out the study to analyze energy use patterns and identify areas where financial institutions can invest for greater efficiency. Together with energy service providers and end-users, the project aims to make sustainable energy projects bankable by carrying out energy audits.
With IFC’s support in building capacity for proposal evaluation, loan product development and due diligence, the Clean Energy Development Bank specifically is launching a unique sustainable energy financing product. This is the first such offering that any financial institution has introduced in Nepal.
“We invite all stakeholders to join this Sustainable Energy Finance initiative to tackle the energy crisis responsibly and effectively,” said ManojGoyal, chairman of Clean Energy Development Bank.
Promoting energy efficiency is particularly important in Nepal, with its complete dependence on petroleum imports. Additionally, unreliable grid power supply forces plants to use expensive diesel generators. According to the Environment Sector Program Support, a program financed by Denmark, Nepal’s industry can save up to 30 percent of energy costs by implementing energy efficiency measures alone.
IFC program manager Thelma Tajirian said, “Energy is a major priority for Nepal’s industrial growth. This sustainable energy finance market study will help the financial institutions make strategic decisions in the new market, and spur the private sector to take the lead in clean and sustainable economic development.”
IFC has started conducting detailed energy audits, and pilot projects are underway to promote the adoption of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies in Nepal.