June 30, 1995
Nepal: Fourth Telecommunications Project (Credit 1588- NEP)
The Implementation Completion Report (ICR) on the Nepal Fourth Telecommunications project (Credit 1588-NEP, approved in FY85) prepared by the South Asia Regional Office, with Part prepared by the Borrower, was reviewed by the Operations Evaluation Department (OED).
This fourth Bank operation in Nepal's telecommunications sector aimed at supporting: (i) the expansion of the network in both urban and rural areas; and (ii) institutional improvements aimed at improving the efficiency of the country's public telecommunications corporation (NTC). All of the project's physical objectives were either met or exceeded, albeit with a two-year delay; the project's institutional components (including staff training and studies in the areas of information systems, tariffs, billing and network planning and operation) were satisfactorily carried out and helped the sector achieve significant efficiency gains. The project helped prepare the ground for structural sector reform, which is currently being pursued under the Fifth Telecommunications credit, approved in FY92. Throughout the project implementation period, sector finances remained sound and financial covenants were met, although somewhat belatedly in the case of arrears settlement.
On balance, the outcome of the project is rated as satisfactory (instead of highly satisfactory in the ICR, given project delays and problems with Government arrears), its institutional development impact as substantial, and its sustainability as likely. Both Borrower and Bank performance are rated as satisfactory (instead of highly satisfactory for the latter in the ICR, given the more muted assessment of Bank performance provided by the Borrower in its own evaluation). The ICR is of good quality overall but could have incorporated more data on financial and other performance indicators (e.g. arrears, quality of service, etc.).
No audit is planned at this time.