Meet Madhu Marasini, senior Nepalese government official and Australia Awards alumnus
Nepali citizen and Australia Awards scholar Madhu Marasini, graduated from the Australian National University (ANU) with a Masters of International and Development
Economics. A decade later, Madhu is now Chief/Joint Secretary International
Economic Cooperation Coordination Division of the Ministry of Finance in Nepal,
leading the direction of foreign aid to finance development projects in Nepal’s
prioritised sectors. He also continues to promote the benefits of the Australia
Awards and, in his role as a high-achieving alumnus, recently participated in
the selection of 39 Nepali Australia Awardees for the 2014 intake.
of Australian Government scholarships in supporting the development priorities
of countries through educational opportunities have been acknowledged by Mr
Marasini, who has said that, “the Australia Awards have changed my thinking and
improved my confidence level. This opportunity was an eye opener too. I hope
future scholarships to Nepal will help create a good pool of talent in Nepal,
and develop people who can really contribute to the economic development of
this country.” Following on from this comment, Mr Marasini was kind enough to
spend some time answering questions related to his time as an awardee, which
are shared below.
What are the achievements you are most proud
of so far?
institutionalised the Aid Management Platform (AMP) in the Ministry of Finance,
which is now a public portal on aid data in Nepal. Today, anyone living in any
corner of the world can access Nepal’s aid information from their own home.
This will not only help enhance aid transparency but also assists in augmenting
aid effectiveness. Nepal’s AMP now has become an exemplary tool. Many aid
recipient countries have been visiting Nepal to learn from our experience.
when I was working for the Inland Revenue Department, I worked to introduce the
Value Added Tax (VAT) system in Nepal for the first time. I am happy to see
that now the VAT is one of the major sources of revenue for the Government of
Nepal. The VAT system, as well as my work establishing the Anti-Money
Laundering Department, has paved a stronger way for tax reform in Nepal.
What do you think are the main development
priorities for Nepal, and what changes would you like to see in Nepal in the
infrastructure has room to grow. Building infrastructures of power and roads
are critically important. Economic growth cannot be achieved, and employment
cannot be generated, without the availability of electricity and road
connection. Nepal should focus on utilising its abundant water resources to
produce electricity and boost export. Tourism is another sector, where we have
the comparative advantages too. Similarly, as over 70% of the population still
live in farming communities, enhancing agricultural productivity and promoting
commercialisation of agriculture is another critical priority.
Thinking back to your time as an Australia
Awardee, what did you gain from your experience in Australia?
self-confidence, an understanding of multicultural values and expanded my contacts
and networks. I have been able to apply the knowledge and skills that I had
learned at ANU to my job. The teachers were superbly helpful, and the Aussie
people were very friendly. After finishing my Masters at ANU I gained a
promotion to the joint secretary level of the Government. That is just one step
behind becoming a Secretary of the Government of Nepal.
What kind of friendships and professional
connections have you maintained since your return to Nepal, and how have these
I am in
constant touch with friends from other countries who have been working in the
ministries of finances, foreign affairs and other multilateral and bilateral
development organisations such as Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and
DFAT. We exchange views from time to time on the issues related to economic and
social development in our respective countries and at the global level too. I
have also been maintaining regular contact with some of my professors from ANU.
Their emails encourage me to take challenges and apply new knowledge into my