Mahat named Finance Minister of the Year
- Post Report, Kathmandu
Jan 5, 2016- Former Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat has been named the Finance Minister of the Year globally and for Asia-Pacific region by UK’s reputed The Banker Magazine in their January 2016 edition. Mahat received The Banker’s Global and Asia-Pacific Finance Minister of the Year awards for his exemplary work in the aftermath of the two disastrous earthquakes that hit Nepal in 2015 and in pushing for reforms to improve governance in the country’s ministry of finance, the online edition of the magazine states.
Commenting on the recognition, Mahat said that he was “humbled and overwhelmed” by the recognition. “It is for the first time that any Nepali finance minister has got such recognition and it has showed that the world was watching our works,” he said. Mahat also credited the recognition he got to the whole team of the Finance Ministry, National Planning Commission and other agencies under the Finance Ministry. “This is a recognition for generating awareness about Nepal’s situation in the aftermath of the earthquake which resulted in massive foreign aid commitment for reconstruction purpose,”
said Mahat. “It is also the recognition for being successful in maintaining macro-economic stability even after the massive quake.”The selection was made following a discussion and a survey of views among bankers and economists from around the world, the magazine said in a letter sent to Mahat. The Banker said in its online edition that Mahat was the first Nepali government official to interact with the international community after the earthquakes. He took a last-minute trip to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) annual meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, to raise awareness among his peers and the press.
The trip to the ADB helped set up the International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction on June 25 where attendees including finance ministers, the ADB, the World Bank and the EU pledged $4.1billion. Mahat’s efforts in planning a Post Disaster Need Assessment to gauge the earthquake’s damage and Nepal’s needs—estimated at more than $6bn—were also key, according to The Banker. The magazine said that Nepal’s finances and macroeconomy have remained sturdy despite uprisings and natural calamities. Mahat’s many reforms pushing for more efficient government spending stands out, it added.