NRA says lump sum not possible

  • housing grant distribution
- SARIN GHIMIRE, Kathmandu

Jun 27, 2016-

The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) on Sunday said it would be unable to provide the Rs200,000 aid money to families rendered homeless by the earthquakes last year in a lump sum as demanded by the main opposition party.

Speaking at the State Affairs Committee of Parliament on Sunday, Chief Executive Officer of the NRA Sushil Gyewali clarified that they would not be able to provide the lump sum because of the existing directive.

He was invited to apprise the committee on the progress made in post-quake reconstruction and rehabilitation. According to the NRA, the directive to provide aid in tranches was signed with the World Bank last August by the previous government led by the Nepali Congress.

“Due to claims from the World Bank that the money would be misused if provided in a lump sum, it pressured the then government into signing an agreement to provide money in tranches,” said NRA Deputy Spokesperson Bhishma Kumar Bhusal.

Gyewali, however, said the grant would now be issued in three tranches instead of four. “We’ll prioritise handing out cash according to the aid agreement and once we make sure all the quake victims have their bank accounts,” Gyewali told the committee.

The government had earlier announced to hand over Rs200,000 to the earthquake survivors who had their houses completely destroyed and Rs50,000 to those with partially damaged houses.

Responding to the claims made by opposition lawmakers that the NRA had “over-politicised” the list of families eligible for aid and treated the reconstruction authority as a private company to hire cadres of the ruling CPN-UML, Gyewali pledged another round of survey to make sure that no eligible family is left out.

Out of the 533,454 houses destroyed by the devastating earthquakes last year, the NRA has only been able to provide the first tranche of Rs50,000 to 5,800 families.

The Gorkha earthquake took the lives of 8,790 people, leaving more than 22,300 injured.

NC adamant on its demand

The Nepali Congress has said the onus lies on the ruling coalition to hold talks to find an amicable solution.

“If the government is indifferent towards finding a solution with us before he speaks in Parliament, we will continue to obstruct the House,” said NC leader Prakash Sharan Mahat. 

He said Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had not invited them for a dialogue to resolve the row.

Published: 27-06-2016 09:18

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