Notice of Entering Into a Compact With the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, 45318-45321 [2017-20847]

Download as PDF 45318 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 187 / Thursday, September 28, 2017 / Notices compliance officer to determine that an employer properly notified workers about the design and construction of, and modifications made to, the trucks they are operating, and that an employer provided them with the required training. II. Special Issues for Comment OSHA has a particular interest in comments on the following issues: • Whether the proposed information collection requirements are necessary for the proper performance of the Agency’s functions, including whether the information is useful; • The accuracy of OSHA’s estimate of the burden (time and costs) of the information collection requirements, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; • The quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and • Ways to minimize the burden on employers who must comply. For example, by using automated or other technological information collection and transmission techniques. III. Proposed Actions OSHA is proposing to increase the existing burden hour estimate of the collection of information requirements specified by the Standard. In this regard, the Agency is proposing to increase the current burden hour estimate from 888,244 hours to 911,764 hours, a total increase of 23,520 hours. The adjustment increase is due to updated data indicating a growth in the number of powered industrial trucks from 1,179,441 to 1,210,679 and the number of operators from 1,769,162 to 1,816,018. Upon further analysis, OSHA has determined that these training provisions are not considered to be collections of information under the PRA. In addition, the Agency was able to gather data updating the number of trucks and operators. The Agency will summarize the comments submitted in response to this notice and will include this summary in the request to OMB. Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection. Title: Powered Industrial Trucks (29 CFR 1910.178). OMB Control Number: 1218–0242. Affected Public: Business or other forprofits. Number of Respondents: 1,210,679. Number of Responses: 2,397,144. Frequency of Reponses: On occasion; annually; triennially. Average Time per Response: Various. Estimated Total Burden Hours: 427,866. Estimated Cost (Operation and Maintenance): $256,626. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:44 Sep 27, 2017 Jkt 241001 IV. Public Participation—Submission of Comments on This Notice and Internet Access to Comments and Submissions You may submit comments in response to this document as follows: (1) Electronically at http:// www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal; (2) by facsimile (fax); or (3) by hard copy. All comments, attachments, and other materials must identify the Agency name and the OSHA docket number for the ICR (Docket No. OSHA–2011–0062). You may supplement electronic submissions by uploading document files electronically. If you wish to mail additional materials in reference to an electronic or facsimile submission, you must submit them to the OSHA Docket Office (see the section of this notice titled ADDRESSES). The additional materials must clearly identify your electronic comments by your name, date, and the docket number so that the Agency can attach them to your comments. Because of security procedures, the use of regular mail may cause a significant delay in the receipt of comments. For information about security procedures concerning the delivery of materials by hand, express delivery, messenger, or courier service, please contact the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693–2350, (TTY (877) 889– 5627). Comments and submissions are posted without change at http:// www.regulations.gov. Therefore, OSHA cautions commenters about submitting personal information such as social security numbers and date of birth. Although all submissions are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to read or download from this Web site. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. Information on using the http:// www.regulations.gov Web site to submit comments and access the docket is available at the Web site’s ‘‘User Tips’’ link. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for information about materials not available from the Web site, and for assistance in using the Internet to locate docket submissions. V. Authority and Signature Loren Sweatt, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, directed the preparation of this notice. The authority for this notice is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3506 PO 00000 Frm 00063 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 et seq.) and Secretary of Labor’s Order No. 1–2012 (77 FR 3912). Signed at Washington, DC, on September 19, 2017. Loren Sweatt, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. [FR Doc. 2017–20770 Filed 9–27–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–26–P MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION [MCC FR 17–05] Notice of Entering Into a Compact With the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal Millennium Challenge Corporation. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In accordance with Section 610(b)(2) of the Millennium Challenge Act of 2003 (22 U.S.C. 7701–7718), as amended, and the heading ‘‘Millennium Challenge Corporation’’ of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2017, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is publishing a summary of the Millennium Challenge Compact between the United States of America, acting through MCC, and the Republic of Nepal. Representatives of MCC and Nepal signed the compact on September 14, 2017. The complete text of the compact has been posted at: https:// assets.mcc.gov/content/uploads/ compact-nepal.pdf. SUMMARY: Dated: September 25, 2017. Jeanne M. Hauch, Vice President and General Counsel, Millennium Challenge Corporation. Summary of the Nepal Compact Overview of MCC Nepal Compact MCC’s Board of Directors has approved a five-year, $500 million compact with Nepal aimed at reducing poverty through economic growth. The compact seeks to assist Nepal in addressing two binding constraints to economic growth: (i) Inadequate supply of electricity; and (ii) high cost of transportation. The compact will address these binding constraints by investing in two projects: The Electricity Transmission Project and the Road Maintenance Project. Background and Context Nepal’s economic growth, labor productivity, and gross domestic product per capita are among the lowest E:\FR\FM\28SEN1.SGM 28SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 187 / Thursday, September 28, 2017 / Notices in South Asia. A decade of civil and political unrest from 1996 to 2006 continues to shape the social, economic, and political landscape of the country. The people of Nepal continue to deal with the fallout from a series of devastating earthquakes in 2015 that killed nearly 9,000 people and pushed an additional million below the poverty line. Almost half a million people leave the country each year for economic opportunities elsewhere. In September 2017, Nepal will hold the final phase of a three-phase local, democratic election in hundreds of municipalities throughout the country. These local elections are the first in 20 years and the first to be held since Nepal ratified its constitution in 2015, a critical step in continuing to foster transparency and accountability in government. The proposed compact is designed to address the underlying causes of two binding constraints to Nepal’s growth: Inadequate supply of electricity and high cost of transportation. Nepal suffers from the worst electricity shortages in South Asia, and new investment in Nepal’s electricity sector is critical to achieve economic growth. Only half of the demand for electricity can be met by the nation’s grid, which has resulted in load-shedding of up to 18 hours a day during the dry winter months when hydropower generation is low. The constraints to growth analysis found that the low availability of electricity creates significant costs for businesses that must run generators on expensive imported fuel. The availability of electricity is further reduced by Nepal’s constrained ability to import power when needed and the high level of losses in transmission and distribution system. The transportation sector has also suffered from Nepal’s past political instability, inadequate investment, weak planning, and poor project execution. These factors have contributed to poor road quality, inefficient customs and border enforcement, an inefficient trucking industry, and inadequate road coverage. The Government of Nepal recognizes that investments in this sector are needed to reduce transportation costs and promote economic growth. Compact Overview and Budget After MCC selected Nepal as eligible for threshold program assistance in December 2011, MCC and the Government of Nepal conducted a constraints to growth analysis. When MCC’s Board of Directors selected Nepal as eligible to develop a compact in December 2014, MCC and the Government of Nepal used the analysis completed for the threshold program to develop the proposed compact. MCC and Nepal identified four binding constraints and agreed to focus the proposed compact on the two best suited for MCC’s assistance: The inadequate supply of electricity and the high cost of transportation. The proposed compact seeks to address the selected constraints by investing in two projects: the Electricity Transmission Project and the Road Maintenance Project. Nepal is already undertaking significant investments in the generation and distribution portions of 45319 the power sector value chain. The proposed Electricity Transmission Project therefore seeks to strengthen the transmission portion of the value chain, which has been weakened by historic underinvestment and poor implementation. The Electricity Transmission Project plans to add approximately 300 kilometers to the high-voltage transmission backbone inside Nepal, complete the Nepal portion of the second cross-border transmission line with India for increased electricity trade, and provide technical assistance aimed at improving the sustainability of Nepal’s power sector. The compact will also support Nepal’s establishment of an independent and capable power sector regulator, which is essential for maintaining open, non-discriminatory access to a transmission network with transparent pricing and clear rules of engagement. The Road Maintenance Project focuses on improving Nepal’s road maintenance regime by providing technical assistance to key actors within the transportation sector. The Road Maintenance Project also includes an incentive-matching fund to encourage the expansion of Nepal’s road maintenance budget, in addition to the periodic maintenance of up to 305 kilometers of the country’s strategic road network. The following summary describes the components of Nepal’s compact. The MCC investment for the compact is $500 million, with an additional $130 million committed by Nepal to support the compact program. Total (millions $) Component 1. Electricity Transmission Project ...................................................................................................................................................... 1.1 Transmission Lines Activity ................................................................................................................................................. 1.2 Substation Activity ................................................................................................................................................................ 1.3 Power Sector Technical Assistance Activity ........................................................................................................................ 1.4 Project Management Activity ............................................................................................................................................... 2. Roads Maintenance Project ............................................................................................................................................................ 2.1 Technical Assistance Road Maintenance Reform ............................................................................................................... 2.2 Strategic Road Maintenance Works .................................................................................................................................... 3. Monitoring and Evaluation ............................................................................................................................................................... 3.1 Monitoring and Evaluation Activities .................................................................................................................................... 4. Program Administration and Oversight ........................................................................................................................................... 4.1 MCA-Nepal Program Administration .................................................................................................................................... 4.2 Fiscal Agent, Procurement Agent, Audit ............................................................................................................................. 398.2 228.2 114.0 22.4 33.6 52.3 7.1 45.2 9.5 9.5 40.0 23.4 16.6 Total MCC Contribution ......................................................................................................................................................... Government of Nepal Contribution ................................................................................................................................ 500.0 130.0 Total Program Investment ...................................................................................................................................... 630.0 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:44 Sep 27, 2017 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00064 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\28SEN1.SGM 28SEN1 45320 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 187 / Thursday, September 28, 2017 / Notices Nepal Compact Budget Project Summaries The Electricity Transmission Project: The objective of this project is to spur economic activity and growth by improving the availability and reliability of electricity supply in Nepal’s power grid, thus increasing per capita electricity consumption. This project includes four activities: • Transmission Lines Activity. This activity will focus on the construction of an estimated 300 kilometers of high voltage transmission lines in Nepal, providing a vital missing link to the existing high voltage grid. Most of the proposed transmission lines traverse mountainous terrain, starting near the Kathmandu Valley, moving to the west and then southwest to the Indian border. The particular lines were selected following careful analyses and feasibility studies that weighed their technical and economic merit, their importance in meeting Nepal’s medium and long term electricity supply goals, and their consistency with Nepal’s domestic and cross border transmission investment plans. The transmission line route was selected to minimize impact on people and sensitive geographic areas, to the extent possible. Moreover, the activity includes funding for certain community benefit-sharing activities in order to further mitigate potential social impacts from construction of the transmission lines. Potential activities include rural electrification through offgrid solutions and community empowerment programs. • Substations Activity. This activity is complementary to the Transmission Lines Activity. The proposed compact contemplates constructing three substations. In combination with the transmission lines, these substations would help evacuate and transmit power collected from three major river basins where large hydropower projects are under construction by investors, many of which are private. The substation near Butwal would be the starting point for the transmission line to the Indian border and power grid. • Power Sector Technical Assistance Activity. This activity seeks to strengthen the proposed power sector regulator (Electricity Regulatory Commission) to help bring transparency, efficiency, and competition to the power sector. The activity would help Nepal embed experts within the Electricity Regulatory Commission to improve the skills of this nascent agency in areas such as rulemaking, dispute resolution, and economic and technical regulation. This activity would also help the Nepal VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:44 Sep 27, 2017 Jkt 241001 Electricity Authority improve its transmission operations and prepare for oversight from the new independent electricity regulator. This will help establish a regulatory cost recovery system, improved grid operations, and better power system planning within the Nepal Electricity Authority. • Program Management and Technical Oversight Activity. This activity is designed to complement the Transmission Lines and Substation Activities by supporting project management, environmental and social impact assessment, and engineering and technical supervision. This will allow the compact to properly implement the proposed infrastructure investments while complying with MCC’s technical, environmental, and social standards. The Road Maintenance Project: The objective of this project is to avoid future increases in transportation costs across Nepal’s road network by preventing further deterioration of maintained roads and to improve the administration of road maintenance. This project has two activities: • Technical Assistance Activity. This activity is planned to build capacity for the Department of Roads and Roads Board Nepal in (1) improved data collection; (2) preparation of appropriate road maintenance plans and cost estimates; (3) improved prioritization of periodic maintenance; (4) improved contracting and contracting management; and (5) improved project management. • Strategic Road Maintenance Works Activity. This activity seeks to complement and build upon the Technical Assistance Activity by incentivizing additional government spending on road maintenance. The activity would establish a matching fund to provide $2 for every $1 Nepal spends above its current average annual amount for road maintenance, up to a total of $15 million annually for three years. The activity would additionally provide for the physical maintenance of an initial 305 kilometers out of the 2,000 kilometers of Nepal’s strategic road network. Economic Analysis The proposed Electricity Transmission Project has an estimated economic rate of return of 12 percent. The investment in Nepal’s transmission system is expected to affect all gridconnected consumers, which represent 72 percent of Nepali households. With a projected population in 2024 of 31.5 million people, an estimated 23 million individual beneficiaries living in five million households are expected to benefit from this project. Fifty-two PO 00000 Frm 00065 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 percent of the potential beneficiaries are estimated to be female. The estimated economic rate of return for the Road Maintenance Project is 29 percent. The 305 kilometers of roads proposed by Nepal for periodic maintenance under the compact are spread across five road segments in five geographic areas. The Project is expected to benefit approximately 924,000 people in 205,000 households. MCC anticipates that there will be overlap in the beneficiaries of the two proposed projects and thus ultimately expects the compact to benefit approximately 23 million individuals. Policy Reforms and the Compact MCC will require certain conditions to entry into force of the compact in order to ensure sustainability of compact investments. For example, given the proposed compact’s focus and the clear need for a second cross-border transmission connection with India, MCC will require that technical and financial arrangements for the construction of the complementary investment in India be finalized before entry into force of the compact. This requirement is expected to be further strengthened through conditions regarding the Nepal portion of the crossborder transmission line that must be met for certain compact disbursements. The proposed compact includes several key reform elements, supported by technical assistance activities in each project. The Power Sector Technical Assistance Activity includes conditions to help Nepal create a transparent and efficient electricity market. MCC believes that the establishment of the Electricity Regulatory Commission as an independent and capable regulator is essential for maintaining open, nondiscriminatory access to a transmission network with transparent pricing and clear rules of engagement for all power market participants, particularly investors in generation projects. The compact proposes to increase the utility’s planning, operations, and cost recovery mechanisms to help ensure the sustainability of the proposed investments. Strengthening the utility’s transmission operations should ensure its viability if Nepal decides to spin off or merge those operations with an independent transmission company. MCC has conditioned the entry into force of the compact on satisfactory progress toward parliamentary approval of a bill to establish the Electricity Regulatory Commission. Further, funding for the Power Sector Technical Assistance Activity will only be provided if the Electricity Regulatory E:\FR\FM\28SEN1.SGM 28SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 187 / Thursday, September 28, 2017 / Notices [FR Doc. 2017–20847 Filed 9–26–17; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 9211–03–P MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION [MCC FR 17–07] Millennium Challenge Corporation Advisory Council Jkt 241001 II. Method of Collection NASA is participating in Federal efforts to extend the use of information technology to more Government processes via Internet. NASA encourages recipients to use the latest computer technology in preparing documentation. Grant and Cooperative Agreement awardees submit annual property reports via an automated NASA Form 1018 by way of the NASA Electronic Submission System (NESS). Approximately 95% of reports are submitted via electronic means. BILLING CODE 9211–03–P In accordance with the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C.—App., the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Advisory Council was established as a discretionary advisory committee on June 14, 2016. The MCC Advisory Council contributes to MCC’s mission to reduce poverty through economic growth. The functions of the MCC Advisory Council are to exclusively serve MCC in an advisory capacity and provide insight regarding innovations in infrastructure, technology and sustainability, perceived risks and opportunities in MCC partner countries, new financing mechanisms for developing country contexts, and shared value approaches. The MCC Advisory Council provides a platform for systematic engagement with the private sector and other external stakeholders. DATES: The meeting will be held October 17, 2017, from 9 a.m.–1:45 p.m. EST. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the Millennium Challenge Corporation 1099 14th St. NW., Suite 700 Washington, DC 20005. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information, contact Beth Roberts at MCCAdvisoryCouncil@ mcc.gov or 202–521–3600 or visit https://www.mcc.gov/about/org-unit/ advisory-council. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Time and Place: Tuesday, October 17, 2017, from 9:00 a.m.–1:45 p.m. EST which includes a working lunch. The 18:44 Sep 27, 2017 I. Abstract The information submitted by recipients is an annual report of Government-owned property in the possession of educational or nonprofit institutions holding NASA grants. In addition to the annual report, a property report may also be required at the end of the grant, or on the occurrence of certain events. The collected information is used by NASA to effectively maintain an appropriate internal control system for equipment and property provided or acquired under grants and cooperative agreements with institutions of higher education and other nonprofit organizations, and to comply with statutory requirements. [FR Doc. 2017–20849 Filed 9–26–17; 11:15 am] Millennium Challenge Corporation. ACTION: Notice of open meeting. AGENCY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 meeting will be held at the Millennium Challenge Corporation 1099 14th St. NW., Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005. Agenda: During the fall 2017 meeting of the MCC Advisory Council, members will discuss ways MCC can continue to bolster its relationship with the private sector and provide advice on MCC’s investments in the Northern Triangle and ongoing compact development in Tunisia. Public Participation: The meeting will be open to the public. Members of the public may file written statement(s) before or after the meeting. If you plan to attend, please submit your name and affiliation no later than Monday, October 9, to MCCAdvisoryCouncil@ mcc.gov to be placed on an attendee list. Jeanne M. Hauch, VP/General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Millennium Challenge Corporation. Commission bill has been passed by the Nepali parliament. For the Technical Assistance Activity in the Road Maintenance Project, MCC will provide compact funding for maintenance works only if Nepal increases its own historically low spending levels on road maintenance. The compact is expected to incentivize Nepal to increase its spending for road maintenance significantly by making MCC funding conditioned on increased Nepal spending. SUMMARY: 45321 NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [Notice: (17–069)] Notice of Information Collection National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). ACTION: Notice of information collection. AGENCY: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. DATES: All comments should be submitted within 30 calendar days from the date of this publication. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments regarding the proposed information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 725 7th Street NW., Washington, DC 20543. Attention: Desk Officer for NASA. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Lori Parker, NASA Clearance Officer, NASA Headquarters, 300 E Street SW., JF0000, Washington, DC 20546 or email Lori.Parker-1@nasa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00066 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 III. Data Title: Property Inventory Report— Grants with Educational and Nonprofit Entities (formerly titled NASA Inventory Report: Property Management & Control, Grants). OMB Number: 2700–0047. Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection. Affected Public: Educational institutions and not-for-profit institutions. Estimated Number of Respondents: 238. Estimated Time per Response: 8.33 hours. Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 1,983 hours. Estimated Total Annual Cost: $67,552. IV. Request for Comments Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of NASA, including whether the information collected has practical utility; (2) the accuracy of NASA’s estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the E:\FR\FM\28SEN1.SGM 28SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 187 (Thursday, September 28, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 45318-45321]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-20847]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION

[MCC FR 17-05]


Notice of Entering Into a Compact With the Federal Democratic 
Republic of Nepal

AGENCY: Millennium Challenge Corporation.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: In accordance with Section 610(b)(2) of the Millennium 
Challenge Act of 2003 (22 U.S.C. 7701-7718), as amended, and the 
heading ``Millennium Challenge Corporation'' of the Department of 
State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 
2017, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is publishing a 
summary of the Millennium Challenge Compact between the United States 
of America, acting through MCC, and the Republic of Nepal. 
Representatives of MCC and Nepal signed the compact on September 14, 
2017. The complete text of the compact has been posted at: https://assets.mcc.gov/content/uploads/compact-nepal.pdf.

    Dated: September 25, 2017.
Jeanne M. Hauch,
Vice President and General Counsel, Millennium Challenge Corporation.

Summary of the Nepal Compact

Overview of MCC Nepal Compact

    MCC's Board of Directors has approved a five-year, $500 million 
compact with Nepal aimed at reducing poverty through economic growth. 
The compact seeks to assist Nepal in addressing two binding constraints 
to economic growth: (i) Inadequate supply of electricity; and (ii) high 
cost of transportation. The compact will address these binding 
constraints by investing in two projects: The Electricity Transmission 
Project and the Road Maintenance Project.

Background and Context

    Nepal's economic growth, labor productivity, and gross domestic 
product per capita are among the lowest

[[Page 45319]]

in South Asia. A decade of civil and political unrest from 1996 to 2006 
continues to shape the social, economic, and political landscape of the 
country. The people of Nepal continue to deal with the fallout from a 
series of devastating earthquakes in 2015 that killed nearly 9,000 
people and pushed an additional million below the poverty line. Almost 
half a million people leave the country each year for economic 
opportunities elsewhere. In September 2017, Nepal will hold the final 
phase of a three-phase local, democratic election in hundreds of 
municipalities throughout the country. These local elections are the 
first in 20 years and the first to be held since Nepal ratified its 
constitution in 2015, a critical step in continuing to foster 
transparency and accountability in government.
    The proposed compact is designed to address the underlying causes 
of two binding constraints to Nepal's growth: Inadequate supply of 
electricity and high cost of transportation. Nepal suffers from the 
worst electricity shortages in South Asia, and new investment in 
Nepal's electricity sector is critical to achieve economic growth. Only 
half of the demand for electricity can be met by the nation's grid, 
which has resulted in load-shedding of up to 18 hours a day during the 
dry winter months when hydropower generation is low. The constraints to 
growth analysis found that the low availability of electricity creates 
significant costs for businesses that must run generators on expensive 
imported fuel. The availability of electricity is further reduced by 
Nepal's constrained ability to import power when needed and the high 
level of losses in transmission and distribution system.
    The transportation sector has also suffered from Nepal's past 
political instability, inadequate investment, weak planning, and poor 
project execution. These factors have contributed to poor road quality, 
inefficient customs and border enforcement, an inefficient trucking 
industry, and inadequate road coverage. The Government of Nepal 
recognizes that investments in this sector are needed to reduce 
transportation costs and promote economic growth.

Compact Overview and Budget

    After MCC selected Nepal as eligible for threshold program 
assistance in December 2011, MCC and the Government of Nepal conducted 
a constraints to growth analysis. When MCC's Board of Directors 
selected Nepal as eligible to develop a compact in December 2014, MCC 
and the Government of Nepal used the analysis completed for the 
threshold program to develop the proposed compact.
    MCC and Nepal identified four binding constraints and agreed to 
focus the proposed compact on the two best suited for MCC's assistance: 
The inadequate supply of electricity and the high cost of 
transportation. The proposed compact seeks to address the selected 
constraints by investing in two projects: the Electricity Transmission 
Project and the Road Maintenance Project.
    Nepal is already undertaking significant investments in the 
generation and distribution portions of the power sector value chain. 
The proposed Electricity Transmission Project therefore seeks to 
strengthen the transmission portion of the value chain, which has been 
weakened by historic underinvestment and poor implementation. The 
Electricity Transmission Project plans to add approximately 300 
kilometers to the high-voltage transmission backbone inside Nepal, 
complete the Nepal portion of the second cross-border transmission line 
with India for increased electricity trade, and provide technical 
assistance aimed at improving the sustainability of Nepal's power 
sector. The compact will also support Nepal's establishment of an 
independent and capable power sector regulator, which is essential for 
maintaining open, non-discriminatory access to a transmission network 
with transparent pricing and clear rules of engagement.
    The Road Maintenance Project focuses on improving Nepal's road 
maintenance regime by providing technical assistance to key actors 
within the transportation sector. The Road Maintenance Project also 
includes an incentive-matching fund to encourage the expansion of 
Nepal's road maintenance budget, in addition to the periodic 
maintenance of up to 305 kilometers of the country's strategic road 
network.
    The following summary describes the components of Nepal's compact. 
The MCC investment for the compact is $500 million, with an additional 
$130 million committed by Nepal to support the compact program.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               Total
                        Component                          (millions $)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Electricity Transmission Project.....................           398.2
    1.1 Transmission Lines Activity.....................           228.2
    1.2 Substation Activity.............................           114.0
    1.3 Power Sector Technical Assistance Activity......            22.4
    1.4 Project Management Activity.....................            33.6
2. Roads Maintenance Project............................            52.3
    2.1 Technical Assistance Road Maintenance Reform....             7.1
    2.2 Strategic Road Maintenance Works................            45.2
3. Monitoring and Evaluation............................             9.5
    3.1 Monitoring and Evaluation Activities............             9.5
4. Program Administration and Oversight.................            40.0
    4.1 MCA-Nepal Program Administration................            23.4
    4.2 Fiscal Agent, Procurement Agent, Audit..........            16.6
                                                         ---------------
        Total MCC Contribution..........................           500.0
            Government of Nepal Contribution............           130.0
                                                         ---------------
                Total Program Investment................           630.0
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 45320]]

Nepal Compact Budget

Project Summaries
    The Electricity Transmission Project: The objective of this project 
is to spur economic activity and growth by improving the availability 
and reliability of electricity supply in Nepal's power grid, thus 
increasing per capita electricity consumption. This project includes 
four activities:
     Transmission Lines Activity. This activity will focus on 
the construction of an estimated 300 kilometers of high voltage 
transmission lines in Nepal, providing a vital missing link to the 
existing high voltage grid. Most of the proposed transmission lines 
traverse mountainous terrain, starting near the Kathmandu Valley, 
moving to the west and then southwest to the Indian border. The 
particular lines were selected following careful analyses and 
feasibility studies that weighed their technical and economic merit, 
their importance in meeting Nepal's medium and long term electricity 
supply goals, and their consistency with Nepal's domestic and cross 
border transmission investment plans. The transmission line route was 
selected to minimize impact on people and sensitive geographic areas, 
to the extent possible. Moreover, the activity includes funding for 
certain community benefit-sharing activities in order to further 
mitigate potential social impacts from construction of the transmission 
lines. Potential activities include rural electrification through off-
grid solutions and community empowerment programs.
     Substations Activity. This activity is complementary to 
the Transmission Lines Activity. The proposed compact contemplates 
constructing three substations. In combination with the transmission 
lines, these substations would help evacuate and transmit power 
collected from three major river basins where large hydropower projects 
are under construction by investors, many of which are private. The 
substation near Butwal would be the starting point for the transmission 
line to the Indian border and power grid.
     Power Sector Technical Assistance Activity. This activity 
seeks to strengthen the proposed power sector regulator (Electricity 
Regulatory Commission) to help bring transparency, efficiency, and 
competition to the power sector. The activity would help Nepal embed 
experts within the Electricity Regulatory Commission to improve the 
skills of this nascent agency in areas such as rule-making, dispute 
resolution, and economic and technical regulation. This activity would 
also help the Nepal Electricity Authority improve its transmission 
operations and prepare for oversight from the new independent 
electricity regulator. This will help establish a regulatory cost 
recovery system, improved grid operations, and better power system 
planning within the Nepal Electricity Authority.
     Program Management and Technical Oversight Activity. This 
activity is designed to complement the Transmission Lines and 
Substation Activities by supporting project management, environmental 
and social impact assessment, and engineering and technical 
supervision. This will allow the compact to properly implement the 
proposed infrastructure investments while complying with MCC's 
technical, environmental, and social standards.
    The Road Maintenance Project: The objective of this project is to 
avoid future increases in transportation costs across Nepal's road 
network by preventing further deterioration of maintained roads and to 
improve the administration of road maintenance. This project has two 
activities:
     Technical Assistance Activity. This activity is planned to 
build capacity for the Department of Roads and Roads Board Nepal in (1) 
improved data collection; (2) preparation of appropriate road 
maintenance plans and cost estimates; (3) improved prioritization of 
periodic maintenance; (4) improved contracting and contracting 
management; and (5) improved project management.
     Strategic Road Maintenance Works Activity. This activity 
seeks to complement and build upon the Technical Assistance Activity by 
incentivizing additional government spending on road maintenance. The 
activity would establish a matching fund to provide $2 for every $1 
Nepal spends above its current average annual amount for road 
maintenance, up to a total of $15 million annually for three years. The 
activity would additionally provide for the physical maintenance of an 
initial 305 kilometers out of the 2,000 kilometers of Nepal's strategic 
road network.
Economic Analysis
    The proposed Electricity Transmission Project has an estimated 
economic rate of return of 12 percent. The investment in Nepal's 
transmission system is expected to affect all grid-connected consumers, 
which represent 72 percent of Nepali households. With a projected 
population in 2024 of 31.5 million people, an estimated 23 million 
individual beneficiaries living in five million households are expected 
to benefit from this project. Fifty-two percent of the potential 
beneficiaries are estimated to be female.
    The estimated economic rate of return for the Road Maintenance 
Project is 29 percent. The 305 kilometers of roads proposed by Nepal 
for periodic maintenance under the compact are spread across five road 
segments in five geographic areas. The Project is expected to benefit 
approximately 924,000 people in 205,000 households.
    MCC anticipates that there will be overlap in the beneficiaries of 
the two proposed projects and thus ultimately expects the compact to 
benefit approximately 23 million individuals.
Policy Reforms and the Compact
    MCC will require certain conditions to entry into force of the 
compact in order to ensure sustainability of compact investments. For 
example, given the proposed compact's focus and the clear need for a 
second cross-border transmission connection with India, MCC will 
require that technical and financial arrangements for the construction 
of the complementary investment in India be finalized before entry into 
force of the compact. This requirement is expected to be further 
strengthened through conditions regarding the Nepal portion of the 
cross-border transmission line that must be met for certain compact 
disbursements.
    The proposed compact includes several key reform elements, 
supported by technical assistance activities in each project. The Power 
Sector Technical Assistance Activity includes conditions to help Nepal 
create a transparent and efficient electricity market. MCC believes 
that the establishment of the Electricity Regulatory Commission as an 
independent and capable regulator is essential for maintaining open, 
non-discriminatory access to a transmission network with transparent 
pricing and clear rules of engagement for all power market 
participants, particularly investors in generation projects. The 
compact proposes to increase the utility's planning, operations, and 
cost recovery mechanisms to help ensure the sustainability of the 
proposed investments. Strengthening the utility's transmission 
operations should ensure its viability if Nepal decides to spin off or 
merge those operations with an independent transmission company. MCC 
has conditioned the entry into force of the compact on satisfactory 
progress toward parliamentary approval of a bill to establish the 
Electricity Regulatory Commission. Further, funding for the Power 
Sector Technical Assistance Activity will only be provided if the 
Electricity Regulatory

[[Page 45321]]

Commission bill has been passed by the Nepali parliament.
    For the Technical Assistance Activity in the Road Maintenance 
Project, MCC will provide compact funding for maintenance works only if 
Nepal increases its own historically low spending levels on road 
maintenance. The compact is expected to incentivize Nepal to increase 
its spending for road maintenance significantly by making MCC funding 
conditioned on increased Nepal spending.

[FR Doc. 2017-20847 Filed 9-26-17; 11:15 am]
 BILLING CODE 9211-03-P