Political stalemate ‘stalled’ reconstruction processThe delay in endorsement of the amended draft of reconstruction aid guideline is likely add woes to thousands of earthquake-affected households bracing for a second winter in temporary shelters.
The delay in endorsement of the amended draft of reconstruction aid guideline is likely add woes to thousands of earthquake-affected households bracing for a second winter in temporary shelters.
The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA), the body responsible for formulating the policies and programmes related with post-earthquake reconstruction, has already forwarded the amended guideline to the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM) for a Cabinet approval. But the ongoing political stalemate has affected the reconstruction process, halting discussions among major political parties before approving the guideline.
The NRA had earlier announced that it would start distributing the second instalment worth Rs150,000 from mid-November to those households who have completed the plinth-level construction works with Rs 50,000 they received in first tranche of aid. But the local authorities are not entertaining requests of the households qualified for the second instalment due to the delay in approval.
The first draft of the amended reconstruction aid guideline was sent to the OPMCM on October 26. The OPMCM returned it to the NRA, suggesting some changes before forwarding it to the Cabinet for approval. Making the necessary changes, the NRA resubmitted it to the OPMCM, which decided to seek assurance from the Ministry of Finance for the release of adequate funds for the purpose.
Immediately after last year’s devastating earthquake, the government had announced Rs200,000 in rebuilding aid to each household affected by the disaster in three tranches of Rs 50,000, Rs 80,000 and Rs 70,000 respectively. Later, the incumbent Puspha Kamal Dahal-led government decided to increase the package to Rs300,000. Under the new provision, each eligible household would receive Rs 50,000, Rs 150,000 and Rs 100,000 respectively.
NRA Spokesperson Ram Prasad Thapaliya said the rebuilding authority had forwarded a proposal requesting the government to allocate an additional Rs 75 billion to distribute the second instalment to over 700,000 households. “Out of the total requested amount, we have so far received Rs28 billion,” he said. “The grant guideline is expected to get the Cabinet approval early next week. Then we will start the distribution of second instalment.”
The NRA has signed the tripartite agreements with 538,192 households, of which 449,368 have received the first instalment of aid money. A total of 626,036 households from 14 affected districts are enlisted for the reconstruction aid.