Red tape stalls grant, loan signing with India

  • Indian govt has pledged $1b for rebuilding efforts
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Feb 12, 2017-

Delay in signing grant and loan agreements with the Indian government and Export-Import Bank of India has affected reconstruction works in the education, health and archaeological sectors.

The government of India has pledged $1 billion for post-earthquake reconstruction efforts in Nepal—USD 750 million concessional line of credit and $250 million in aid. 

During Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s India visit in September last year, Nepal and India had signed three agreements, two of which were related to post-earthquake reconstruction. Nepal’s reconstruction efforts, even 22 months after the quake that killed nearly 9,000 people and destroyed over a million houses, have been hamstrung by political bickering and bureaucratic red tape, leaving hundreds of the thousands of quake survivor still out in the cold. 

India had forwarded the draft of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) in regards to its assistance for post-quake reconstruction to the government of Nepal for feedbacks. But the systematic and bureaucratic delay in responding back has held up the agreement signing process, according to authorities at the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA). 

“There is a funding gap in reconstruction of the damaged buildings in education, health and archaeological sectors, besides the private housing sector,” said Govind Raj Pokharel, chief executive officer of the NRA. 

The MoU drafts have been forwarded to India after incorporating feedbacks from the Nepali side for further processing. “We expect the funding from India would be available soon,” Pokharel said. 

Last week, the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament had directed the NRA to complete distribution of first and second tranches of the private housing aid to the affected families within one and three months respectively. 

During the meeting, the parliamentarians had expressed concerns over delay in distribution of the housing aid to the affected families even almost two years after the earthquake. 

“The poor funding alignment and lack of capacity within the ministries involved in post-quake reconstruction to mobilise human resources have caused the delay, particularly in the housing sector,” said Pokharel. 

Published: 12-02-2017 08:14

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