Plan to issue poor ID cards gathering dust

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Dec 9, 2016-

A plan to issue poor identity cards has been gathering dust as the government has done nothing to implement it even two years after the scheme was announced.

The ambitious programme, which envisages providing social security to identified poor people, was launched in September 2014. The government had expected to distribute the ID cards by the end of the last fiscal year. 

The Poor Household Support Coordination Board Secretariat under the Ministry of Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation had surveyed 25 districts to identify potential beneficiaries. 

Achham, Bajhang, Bajura, Kailali, Jumla, Humla, Mugu, Dolpa, Kalikot, Jajarkot, Bardia, Rukum, Rolpa, Pyuthan, Arghakhanchi, Kapilvastu, Baglung, Rautahat, Siraha, Khotang, Bhojpur, Dolakha, Sindhupalchok, Nuwakot and Rasuwa districts were selected for the programme in the first phase. 

Janak Lal Tiwari, executive vice-chairman of the board, said the poor identification work had been delayed mainly due to the need to study complaints regarding the list of poor people they received from a number of districts. The board has identified 356,418 poor households in its preliminary report.

According to the board, it has received 33,436 complaints, and it has started scrutinizing information on 3,500 households in a bid to update the list. “There is a need to redefine the indicators for 468 households,” he said, adding that 297 households had requested the board to be removed from the roll.

Tiwari said that the board was also preparing to carry out a review of 231,000 households that had failed to submit details during the survey. “We will match the list with the statistics of the Central Bureau of Statistics and the Election Commission before distributing the cards.”

The board has considered 18 indicators for households to be identified as being poor and eligible for the poor ID cards. They include family size, education level and enrolment of children in private or public schools, type of house, income sources and the number of livestock owned by the household. Tiwari said the board was considering making the social security scheme available to the targeted people in line with the ‘Garib ka Lagi Sarkar’, a programme launched by the incumbent government. 

The board claimed that it would complete identifying poor people in the 25 districts by the end of this fiscal year. According to Tiwari, a survey of poor households in the other 50 districts will begin from the next fiscal year. 

Published: 09-12-2016 10:41

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