Govt, WB negotiate Rs16b soft loan for new project

  • automation of civic registration and social security distribution
- PRITHVI MAN SHRESTHA, Kathmandu

Sep 28, 2016-

The government and the World Bank have concluded negotiation on $150 million (Rs16.04 billion) soft loan for a new project aimed at automation of civil registration and social security allowance distribution.

According to the Finance Ministry, the two sides concluded the negotiation last week for the project entitled ‘Strengthening system for social system for social protection and civil registration.’

“Now, the World Bank Board should approve the bilateral understanding and the signing of loan agreement takes place,” said Baikuntha Aryal, chief of International Economic Cooperation Coordination Division at the ministry.

According to him, the interest rate for the loan has been agreed at 0.75 percent and commitment charge of 0.25 percent. The five-year project is slated to kick off in 2017.

Given the poor record keeping of civil registration, the government has sought to strengthen the system which would also help in social security distribution, according to government officials.

According to the Department of Civil Registration, the project has mainly three components-National Population Registration and establishment of service centre; incentive for use of banking channel in social security distribution and capacity enhancement of the department and the local bodies.

Anil Kumar Thakur, director general at the department, said that a door-to-door campaign would be launched across the county to collect detailed information about the people’s birth, date, marriage, divorce and migration and the data would be maintained on an automated system under the first component of the project. “Likewise the service centres will be established at the local level to maintain automated record of birth, death, marriage, divorce and migration of local people,” he said.

The database of these vital information both at the central and the local levels will be interconnected and the central authority will be able to monitor any changes that take place at the local level through the central server.

“This system will be very important for deciding and delivering the government services in the future as population status has been changing due to increasing migration,” said Thakur. 

The registration of such data has remained poor, a recent survey by the department showed. “We think registration of such incidents at the local government agencies is not more than 60 percent in the nation on an average although survey has not taken place in hill and Tarai districts,” he said.

Under the second component, the World Bank has pledged to provide certain amount in grant for distributing social security allowance through banking channel, according to Thakur.

Under the project, banking system will be used to distribute social security allowance in 25 districts in five years. “Additional grant will be provided based on the use of banking system in each district,” said Thakur. The government has instructed the local authorities across the country to distribute social security allowance through banking channel as far as possible while releasing first instalment of budget for the purpose.

Considering frauds committed in distribution of such allowance, the government has made the use of banking system mandatory for allowance distribution. “Based on the feedback from the local authorities after the distribution of the first instalment of allowance, we will make necessary changes to the banking system,” he said, explaining that capacity of the hardware, software, human resource development of the department will be enhanced under the component. “The capacity of the local authorities will also be enhanced to maintain better record keeping at local level.”

Published: 28-09-2016 07:34

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