KATHMANDU: The government of Nepal and the World Bank Board signed a Development Policy Credit of 100 million US dollars today to improve the financial viability and governance of the energy sector and recover from the COVID-19 crisis.
The agreement was signed by Finance Secretary, Sishir Kumar Dhungana, and World Bank Country Manager for Nepal, Faris Hadad-Zervos. The approved operation is the second in a series of three DPC operations to support key policy, regulatory, and institutional reforms to unlock the economic potential of Nepal’s energy sector. These include measures to improve the financial viability of the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) as the sole off-taker, establish a regulatory framework that is autonomous, transparent, and accountable, achieve greater integration with regional electricity market to ensure the optimal use of Nepal’s hydropower resources and restructure NEA to empower provincial and local governments under the federal structure. On the occasion, Finance Secretary Dhungana thanked the World Bank for the continued support to improve the quality of infrastructure and socio-economic development in Nepal. “The support made by the World Bank to enhance Nepal’s energy capacity will improve access to electricity as aimed by Nepal’s plan and budget and also enhance the capacity of NEA”, said Secretary Dhungana.
While Nepal has made important progress in the sector, addressing the immediate and long-term impacts of the pandemic is the key priority of the government to ensure the benefits are sustained over time. In recent years, Nepal’s energy sector has made a great stride with increased electricity generation, reduced system losses, and enhanced cross-border transmission capacity while purring an end to the nation-wide load shedding. Electricity is now available to 88 percent of the population, reads the press release issued by the World Bank on Wednesday. On the occasion, World Bank Country Manager for Nepal, Faris Hadad-Zervos said the World Bank is committed to supporting the government in strengthening the energy sector in Nepal during the crisis and for post-crisis recovery. This operation will help Nepal develop a reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy sector that supports poverty reduction and shared prosperity in the country.
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