Govt plans streamlined access to social benefitsThe government is set to distribute social security allowance to around 2.3 million beneficiaries directly through municipalities and village councils from the next fiscal year.
The government is set to distribute social security allowance to around 2.3 million beneficiaries directly through municipalities and village councils from the next fiscal year.
The department had long been sending the allowance to the beneficiaries residing in the old municipalities and Village Development Committees through the District Development Committees (DDCs), which have now been transformed into District Coordination Committees (DCCs).
The Department of Civil Registration, under the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development, which is responsible for releasing the budget to the local level units, said the allowance would directly be sent to the municipalities and village councils as the DCCs will no more be the executing agencies.
Once the local level elections are over, representatives from the municipalities and village councils will form the DCC in every district for coordination among the local units.
Anil Kumar Thakur, director general of the department, said the move is expected to ease the social security distribution process as one administrative layer will be removed.
Four metropolises, 13 sub-metropolises, 246 municipal councils and 481 village councils have been formed across the country in the federal set-up.
The government provides social security allowance to the elderly people, widows, single women, disabled people, endangered indigenous people and children of Dalits and those from the Karnali region. The government has allocated Rs32.69 billion for the purpose this fiscal year.
The department has already released almost all the budget earmarked for the purpose. The social security allowance is being distributed in three instalments a year.
The elderly make most of the beneficiaries, followed by single women.
Nepal is one of the most generous countries in terms of social security allowance distribution in South Asia, the Local Development Ministry claims. The government doubled the social security allowance for senior citizens, single woman, disabled persons and endangered indigenous people to Rs2000 from the current fiscal year.
Rs 2b extra needed to cover all
The Department of Civil Registration said an additional Rs2-3 billion might be necessary for distributing allowance to all the beneficiaries of the social security programme for the current fiscal year.
The government has allocated Rs32.69 billion for the purpose. As the number of beneficiaries rose due to the provision that people become eligible for the allowance after four months of registration, the department said. Earlier, they had to wait for one year after registration. Anil Kumar Thakur, director general of the department, said the department was calculating the exact deficit amount.
Social security beneficiaries
Elderly (Dalit) 211,611
Elderly (Others) 871,632
Single women 121,000
Fully disabled 33,115
Severely disabled people 43,758
Endangered community 33,457
Children (Dalit/Karnali) 442,428
Source: Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development