Congress calls for holding talks with donors

- SARIN GHIMRE, Kathmandu

Jul 1, 2016-

The Nepali Congress, which reached an agreement with the ruling parties on Wednesday on releasing the housing aid in two tranches instead of three, has accused the government of failing to pay attention to the plight of earthquake survivors and not holding formal talks with the donor community for the disbursement of housing grant. 

“Even the donor community feels that reconstruction works have moved at an extremely slow pace,” said NC leader Praksh Sharan Mahat. “The government must realise the urgency and pay attention to the woes of earthquake survivors who are set to endure yet another monsoon with no roofs over their heads.” The NC had obstructed the House for a week, demanding that the government release housing aid of Rs 200,000 in lump sum.

“Had the National Reconstruction Authority distributed housing grant as per earlier agreed upon directives, the earthquake survivors would have received two tranches of the money by now,” added Mahat. “By that extension, they would have received Rs 150,000 by now, and we are only asking the government to provide that amount as the first tranche and Rs 50,000 later,” Mahat argued.

As per the earlier agreement reached with the World Bank, the earthquake survivors are entitled to receive the housing aid of Rs 200,000 in three phases—Rs 50,000, 

Rs 80,000 and Rs 70,000.

The NC lawmaker from Nuwakot, also among the 14 districts worst by the earthquake last year, said the donor community could be convinced for releasing the fund in two tranches if the government “holds talks with the donors”. When asked if the government had approached the donor community for formal talks regarding revising the earlier signed directives on distribution of housing aid, a World Bank source replied in negative. “The government has not asked us for formal talks as of now,” the source said. 

Published: 01-07-2016 10:44

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