Asian Development Bank (ADB) today said it is ready to help Nepal in developing its hydropower generation capacity and also offered to play the role of a facilitator in power trading, especially with India. "We would like to play the role of a facilitator not only in hydropower generation and transmission but also in cross border trading of power, especially between Nepal and India," ADB Vice President Wencai Zhang today said after meeting senior officials here.
India and Nepal are currently discussing finer details of a revised draft on a power trade agreement. The agreement was expected to be signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Kathmandu early this month but it was deferred for further scrutiny. During the visit, the two sides had agreed to conclude the Power Trade Agreement (PTA), a framework pact for the commerce and power sector within 45 days. The Vice President of the Manila-based bank also said that it could provide USD 1.5 billion concessional fund to Nepal to support its economy and critical infrastructure projects. "In the next five years, ADB can provide about USD 1.5 billion in the concessional Asian Development Fund resources to Nepal, to support its economy and sector reforms and investments in critical infrastructure such as energy, transport, urban services as well as agriculture transformation," Zhang said. He, however, noted that "it is very important that the overall project implementation performance is substantially enhanced to achieve the intended development impact and qualify for increased ADB assistance. "Scaling up physical and human capital investments while improving project implementation performance is the key to Nepal's higher and inclusive growth and more rapid poverty reduction," he pointed out, talking to journalists while wrapping up his four-day visit to the country. Zhang met senior leaders, including Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Federal Affairs and Local Development Prakash Man Singh and Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat. During these meetings, he discussed ADB operations in the country and emphasised the need to urgently address infrastructure deficits, building capacity, establish an enabling policy environment and promote private sector investment. He also appreciated Nepal's efforts to accelerate a range of economic and sector reforms to boost public-private partnership in different sectors and expressed ADB's policy to extend support in hydropower sector in a substantial manner in the coming days. "ADB is also ready to provide technical assistance in developing hydropower projects under public-private partnership concept," he said. Hydropower will be the major area of ADB's intervention in future, he said.