NRA to hire consultantThe National Reconstruction Authority has initiated the process of hiring a consultant for mobilising the $750 million line of credit extended by India to aid Nepal’s post earthquake recovery.
The National Reconstruction Authority has initiated the process of hiring a consultant for mobilising the $750 million line of credit extended by India to aid Nepal’s post earthquake recovery.
New Delhi had pledged $1 billion, one fourth of which was extended as grant. According to the NRA, the process of hiring consultants will give an impetus to the ongoing reconstruction drive.
“There was confusion on the modality and ways of mobilising the fund pledged by India. Once we hire consultants, things will be easier,” NRA Chief Executive Officer Govinda Raj Pokharel said, adding that completion of the process will facilitate the process of acquiring funds and expediting reconstruction works.
Nepal and India had signed project agreements during Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s visit to India last week for mobilising the $250 million grant.
With the current developments, the gridlock in acquiring the remaining $750 million aid from India has eased, in a move expected to give the reconstruction drive a boost. The NRA has got a Rs145.93 billion budget for the fiscal year 2017-18. According to the authority, around 37 percent of the total budget was allocated based on the grants and soft loan extended by India.
The NRA is likely to hire an Indian consultant for the job. According to Nadeem Panjetan, chief general manager at the Export Import Bank of India, the institution has the provision of allowing the NRA to make use of up to one percent of the LoC if the consultant is hired from India.
The contractor helming the project under this fund will have three payment provisions—advance payment, milestone payment and retention payment, which will differ from project to project.
The NRA has said the $750 million LoC is most likely to be used in big infrastructure projects including the reconstruction of schools and universities.
The NRA is also planning to get detailed project reports of some of the projects prepared by the Ministry of Urban Development and approved by the Indian side for construction. An Indian firm might be roped in for preparing the DPR of the remaining projects. There has been minimal progress in the reconstruction of educational institutions, cultural heritage sites and health centres, apart from a slow reconstruction of individual homes.