Ministry okays distribution of second tranche of aidThe Finance Ministry has given its nod to go ahead with the distribution of the second tranche of housing rebuilding aid to the earthquake-affected families in the districts devastated by last year’s disaster.
The Finance Ministry has given its nod to go ahead with the distribution of the second tranche of housing rebuilding aid to the earthquake-affected families in the districts devastated by last year’s disaster.
A meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara on Sunday agreed to move the proposal seeking amendment of the housing grant guideline for a Cabinet approval to pave the way for the distribution of the second and third instalments of state aid to the affected families to rebuild their homes.
The draft of the amended housing grant guideline prepared by the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) was awaiting the Finance Ministry’s approval before sending it to the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM), and finally to the Cabinet for a final approval. The delay in approval of the amended guideline has halted the process for the distribution of the second installment. The government had announced Rs150,000 in second installment to each of the quake-hit households who have completed the foundation of their newly build houses.
Of the total 626,036 households eligible for housing grant, 474,763 households have signed the tripartite agreement, and 444,462 households have received the first installment as of Monday.
“The approval of the guideline will facilitate the distribution of the housing aid to thousands of households waiting to continue building their houses, and address other issues delaying the reconstruction at local level,” said Ram Prasad Thapaliya, spokesperson with the NRA.
According to Thapaliya, 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.
The NRA has stated that an additional Rs75 billion will be required for the second installment after the government led by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal announced in August to revise the aid from the existing Rs200,000 to Rs 300,000 to each household. The Finance Ministry recently sanctioned Rs28 billion out of the proposed Rs75 billion for the second installment.
On Monday, NRA Chief Executive Sushil Gyewali held a meeting with officials at the ministry and explained about the current financial scenario, including the status of development assistance coordination for the reconstruction projects. During the presentation, Gyewali stated that the NRA had spent Rs 210 million of the total Rs 105.4 billion budget allocated for reconstruction in the fiscal year 2016-2017. Development partners and donor agencies have so far released Rs2.7 billion out of the total pledged amount of Rs4.1 billion.