Print Edition - 2015-12-17  |  News

Reconstruction Bill passed unopposed

  • Decks cleared for the formation of the National Reconstruction Authority almost eight months after the April 25 earthquake
- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu

Dec 17, 2015-

The Legislature-Parliament endorsed the Reconstruction Authority Bill on Wednesday, almost eight months after the devastating April 25 earthquake, paving the way for the formation of the National Reconstruction Authority to carry out post-earthquake reconstruction in 31 affected districts. 

The bill on Wednesday was endorsed unopposed even though eight Madhes-based parties on Tuesday had protested against the government move of tabling it along with the Constitution Amendment Bill. Marshals had confined the lawmakers from the agitating Madhes-based parties to a corner of Parliament to facilitate the government to table the bills on Tuesday. 

All the lawmakers present in the House voted in favour of the bill while three lawmakers from Nepal Sadbhawana Party, Tharuhat Tarai Party and Rastriya Madhes Samajbadi Party stayed neutral. 

The Sushil Koirala-led government in August had formed the National Reconstruction Authority through an ordinance. However, it was dissolved after the government failed to present a replacement bill in Parliament by September 20. 

There will be a three-tier structure under the reconstruction body—Directive Committee, Advisory Council and Executive Committee to govern the Authority, according to the Reconstruction Authority Act. 

The Directive Committee and Advisory Council will be led by the PM, while leader of the main opposition will be vice-chairman. The Advisory Council will also have representation of 14 lawmakers, one each from 14 worst affected districts. Similarly, a monitoring team comprising lawmakers also will be formed to oversee the activities of the Authority. 

The Executive Committee will be led by Chief Executive Officer. Both the ruling and opposition parties have been at odds, seeking to place their candidate at the helm of the authority. The reconstruction body can mobilise Rs 91 billion from the state coffers and Rs 400 billion pledged by the donor community. 

After discussing for more than two months, the Legislation Committee of Parliament on December 10 had endorsed the bill with a note of dissent from the main opposition NC. 

Nearly 9,000 people were killed and 20,000 were injured in the devastating April 25 earthquake, which also destroyed tens of thousands of houses. More than 8,000 people are still living in temporary shelters. But in the absence of the Reconstruction Authority, not a penny was spent from the $4.1 billion fund pledged by the donors during a donor conference that was held in June. 

How NRA will function

-    The Reconstruction Authority will have a three-tier structure: Directive Committee, Advisory Council and Executive Committee

-    Directive Committee and Advisory Council will be led by the prime minister with the leader of the main opposition as vice-chair

-    The Executive Committee will be led by Chief Executive Officer who will be appointed by the government

-    Advisory Council will also have representation of 14 lawmakers, one each from 14 worst affected districts

-    A monitoring team comprising lawmakers also will be formed to oversee the activities of the Authority

-    The Reconstruction Authority will mobilise Rs 91 billion from the state coffers and Rs 400 billion pledged by donors 

Published: 17-12-2015 08:20

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