Government to use banking channel for aid distribution

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Accounts of recipients will be opened in local banks and through mobile banking services

Feb 22, 2016-In a bid to avoid possible misappropriation of funds, the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) is preparing to distribute aid money to earthquake victims through the banking system to rebuild their quake ravaged homes.  

The central body responsible for rebuilding quake-damaged houses and infrastructure, said banks accounts of the victims will be opened in locally available banks and that mobile banking services would be arranged in places without banking facilities. 

“The state-own banks including its regulatory body, Nepal Rastra Bank, have been told to arrange to distribute money through the banking system at the local level,” said authority’s Acting Secretary Madhusudan Adhikari, adding that the money would be channeled to the quake victims even using private banks in places where the facility of state-own banks is unavailable. 

“It will not be possible to provide mobile banking facility in all villages. We are planning such facility in each resource centre formed comprising four or five village development committees,” said Adhikari. 

Bank accounts will be opened in the name of all registered quake victims. The provision of banking account was envisioned after reports emerged that some NGOs and shopkeepers had “recovered” relief amount received by earthquake-hit families while distributing cash and winter relief packages in the past. 

In Dhading, the Forum for Community Upliftment System (Focus) Nepal, an organisation engaged in community development in the district, had recouped its loan from winter relief amount that the government provided to quake-affected Chepangs. 

Although the NRA has set the target of beginning reconstruction campaign in all villages by April 25 to mark the first anniversary of devastating earthquake, survivors of certain villages where a detailed damaged assessment has been completed will get the money shortly.

The government has announced Rs 200,000 in relief aid to each household rendered homeless and maximum Rs300,000 in subsidised loan to rebuild quake destroyed houses. A quake-victim household will get Rs 25,000 in first instalment and the rest will be provided later. The NRA has already endorsed a financial regulation in accordance to the reconstruction policy. 

An NRA team has recently returned to Kathmandu after assessing possibility of distributing money through banking system in Singati of Dolakha district.

The government has started a detailed damage assessment from Dolakha with a survey of 51,000 households. The authority has set a target of beginning the reconstruction project in Singati on March 3. 

The campaign, supposed to begin on February 24, has been delayed due to NRA Chief Executive Officer Sushil Gyewali’s India visit.

 

Published: 22-02-2016 07:59

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