Donors unhappy with move to raise individual house reconstruction aid

Kathmandu, December 25

Development partners have expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s decision to raise the individual house reconstruction aid without any consultation with them citing this move by the government will create additional burden of over Rs 100 billion immediately while releasing the second tranche of the aid. The government has been preparing to distribute Rs 150,000 as the second tranche of the aid.

The government led by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist-Centre) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has raised the individual house reconstruction aid from Rs 200,000 to Rs 300,000 and has decided to a distribute large chunk of aid or 50 per cent as second instalment.

The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has also initiated the process to amend the Guidelines on Grant Distribution to Private Houses to realise the government’s announcement. The amended guideline, which has already been approved from the Ministry of Finance and submitted to the Cabinet for its nod has also provisioned to distribute Rs 100,000 in two instalments for the maintenance and retrofitting of individual houses that are fit to live in. According to Sushil Gyewali, CEO of NRA, the authority will start distributing grant of Rs 50,000 each in two instalments for the maintenance of individual houses. NRA requires Rs 100 billion to distribute second trance and first instalment for the maintenance of individual houses after the guideline is endorsed from the Cabinet.

Development partners, who have made aid commitment for individual house reconstruction, are dissatisfied with the government as the government is preparing to distribute a bulk amount of grant as second tranche. “We are trying to convince development partners that the second tranche announced by the government will help expedite individual house reconstruction,” said Sanjay Sharma, secretary of NRA. “We have clearly told them that the government will not roll-back this move and have requested them to support the government’s decision.”

The World Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency, USAID, and the Indian government have been contributing funds for individual house reconstruction.

The NRA has already distributed first tranche to 84 per cent of the total 543,107 beneficiary households that have signed grant agreement with local bodies in 14 severely affected districts including Kathmandu Valley under supervision of NRA and reconstruction of around 40,000 houses have started. The second tranche will be released to the houses being reconstructed that meet the criteria of earthquake resistant houses after the guideline is approved, as per Sharma.