Authority rejigs outlay as global donors go cold

- SANJEEV GIRI, Kathmandu
The authority has so far not received actual amount pledged by international community

Oct 30, 2018-The National Reconstru- ction Authority (NRA) on Monday said it is in the final stages of revising its financial outlay for carrying out the remaining reconstruction works.

The authority said it will be ready with the status of reconstruction, and identify budgetary gaps to ensure that the ongoing drive is not affected by financial constraints, within this week.

Reassessing the financial outlay was necessary as the rebuilding task has entered into the fourth year. Having been established through the sunset policy, the authority needs to complete the rebuilding task by 2020.

The agency has also announced that it is aiming to complete the reconstruction of private homes within this fiscal year.

Moreover, the fact that the authority has not received actual amount pledged by international community, so far, too has played the role of a catalyst for the ongoing revision of the financial needs.

“The authority has entered a phase wherein we need to review the overall scenario and develop a framework. The remaining works should be completed on that basis,” NRA Joint Secretary Pitambar Ghimire said. “We will be in position to share actual findings by this week.”

According to Ghimire, the task of reassessment of financial needs will be in line with the Post Disaster Recovery Framework (PDRF) that had estimated Rs938 billion would be required to support the reconstruction and rehabilitation needs.

Of the Rs410 billion committed by the international community during the International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction held in the immediate aftermath of Gorkha Earthquake, the government has concluded agreement for support worth Rs262 billion, including Indian line of credit worth Rs75 billion. Deducting this, the authority has Rs187 billion at its disposal which is less than half the amount pledged.

Use of Line of Credit signed between the Nepal government and the Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) on September 2016 has failed to materialise as the agreement requires 75 percent Indian components including plant, machinery, equipment and services and 50 percent Indian components in civil works.

On the second week of May, the NRA had written to the Finance Ministry urging it to take initiatives for converting Rs75 billion Indian line of credit for the post-earthquake reconstruction to an unconditional loan, arguing that the amount would not be utilised fully within the NRA’s tenure under such stringent conditions.

Based on the needs assessment, the authority will be holding talks with the government and donors to ensure enough resources to carry out the reconstrunction works. “We are also assessing the tasks helmed by the Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and International NGOs,” Ghimire said, adding that they would also learn about the actual fund mobilised by the non-governmental agencies and seek their support in line with their commitment.

The authority will hold discussions with NGOs to bridge the budgetary gaps.

Addressing a seminar recently, NRA Chief Executive Officer Sushil Gyewali said the rebuilding body is also looking at ways to support livelihood of quake impacted people. He added that the authority had convinced the donor agencies to engage in such activities.

“This factor may also impact the fund quoted in the PDRF, while making revision. Though the amo- unt has not been finalised so far, there won’t be much of difference compared with the amount quoted in the PDRF,” he added.

Published: 30-10-2018 07:18

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