Nepal’s project portfolio performance improves in 2014 : ADB

Xinhua, Kathmandu :
Nepal’s project portfolio performance has stepped up with rating progressed from 3 to 4.5, out of 5 in 2014, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has reviewed here Sunday.
The Country Portfolio Review Meeting jointly organized by the ADB and the government of Nepal, however, concluded that Nepal should address the huge infrastructure gap by increasing infrastructure investments from 4 percent to between 8 and 12 percent of the country’s GDP.
Kenichi Yokoyama, ADB Country Director of Nepal, said the improved rating is achieved mostly by a series of short-term measures to avoid “at risk” ratings for individual projects. However, fundamental constraints hampering sustained high portfolio rating still remains.
According to the ADB, the country should specially focus on low level of readiness and slow project startup, slow procurement process, low performance of contractors and consultants, insufficient management of the project agencies and poor portfolio management.
“Nepal’s portfolio is going through many challenges, but we are trying our best to maintain higher performance with proper financial management and capacity building,” said Suman P. Sharma, Secretary at Ministry of Finance.
ADB, which has been a financial partner of Nepal since 1969, has already provided 4.3 billion U.S. dollars to Nepal.