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Experts suggest keeping in centre national interest while receiving foreign aid

2023 Jul 29, 7:49, Kathmandu
Representative Image.

Infrastructure experts have suggested the government that it kept in centre the national interest while receiving foreign loan and grants for infrastructure building.

During a programme organized by the Centre for Social Inclusion and Federalism here Friday, the experts made it clear that donor agencies were imposing their interest while extending assistance all because of weak bargaining capacity of employees. The loan and assistance must be received by keeping national interest in centre, they underscored.

On the occasion, former secretary Lal Shankar Ghimire made it clear that no donor agency extends assistance without interest. "In a way or other, there is certainly interest in 80 percent of foreign assistance to Nepal. So, there is no point in regarding loan and grants differently," Ghimire said, arguing that we failed to build our stand strong while receiving foreign loan and grants.

He insisted on building courage and capacity to avoid foreign interest in grants and loans. The former secretary wondered why we take foreign grants and loan as achievement while it takes at least one to five years to complete loan and grants cycle.

Similarly, former secretary of Nepal government Dipendra Nath Sharma viewed good governance is dented on infrastructure building, so the National Planning Commission needs to monitor it effectively. An effective monitoring of implementation of projects within a time frame, and accountability among concerned agencies for project implementation is imperative. He argued that the Public Procurement Office was not functioning up to the mark.

Similarly, Director at IIDS, Sucheta Pyakurel, said the economic indicators were not negative. It can be taken as political dimension as well. She however viewed, "Nepal is an economically weak country, where the project built on foreign assistance makes it weaker."

Government's economic status should be considered while accepting foreign assistance for infrastructures, she suggested.

Former officer for external affairs at World Bank, Rajiv Upadhya, opined that resources were shrinking recently. Global geopolitics was getting centered on the economy, he added. Similarly, he informed that the military budget was increasing in most of the countries.

During the event, even a report on 'China's Emergence on Nepal's Infrastructures: Status, problems and Challenges' was presented.


government infrastructure National Interest foreign loan Grants loan employees National Planning Commission good governance Global geopolitics
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