Cabinet indecision puts NRA’s plan in limbo

  • central level project implementation units
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jul 12, 2017-National Reconstruction Authority’s efforts to bring the central level project implementation units (CLPIUs) under its purview has hit a snag with the government failing to take a decision over the matter.

The government had established the CLPIUs last month under the Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Ministry of Education to speed up the post-earthquake reconstruction tasks. 

Concerned by the slow progress in the reconstruction drive due to lack of coordination between the units and the NRA, the authority proposed bringing those units under its jurisdiction. Subsequently, the NRA took the proposal to the Cabinet. But nearly a month on, there has been no development on this front.

“There’s a confusion at the CLPIUs. Officials there are unable to work in coordination with the NRA as it is the line ministries that assess their performances,” an official at the NRA told the Post. “No wonder, they are more loyal to the ministries. We proposed to bring CLPIUs into our jurisdiction for the sole purpose of expediting the reconstruction process.” 

Though the proposal was tabled at a Cabinet meeting, it couldn’t take a decision on the matter. NRA Chief Executive Govind Raj Pokharel said the process had been delayed as they needed to hold meetings with concerned ministries following the change in the government leadership from Pushpa Kamal Dahal to Sher Bahadur Deuba. 

“We will brief the matter to the concerned ministries once they get a minister and then propose the matter to the Cabinet. We need to do homework again,” Pokharel said. 

But sources privy to the development pointed to differences between ministries and key officials at the Prime Minister’s Office.   

If the NRA’s proposal is endorsed by the Cabinet, an NRA official explained, the only change it will bring about at the CLPIUs is that they will be directly guided by the authority mandated to carry out the reconstruction drive. All the CLPIUs have established network the in 14 districts worst hit by the 2015 earthquakes. “Should the NRA get complete jurisdiction over the CLPIUs, it can not only communicate with the centre but also with the local level, which will definitely boost the reconstruction initiative,” the official added.

The NRA, meanwhile, has reported that there has been substantial progress in the reconstruction of private houses in the past few months. The authority recently allocated Rs1.7 billion in additional funding to support the reconstruction of private homes in six districts—Dolkha, Dhading, Dhankuta, Lalitpur, Parbat and Okhaldhunga. 

The NRA completed grant agreements with 13,878 additional households between mid-June and June-end. During the period, 11,800 households received the first installment of government grant, 11,076 households received the second installment and 487 households received the third installment.

Published: 12-07-2017 07:50

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