The government will likely take another 16 months to reach out to all the quake-affected households identified as eligible to obtain the government’s aid to reconstruct their houses that were damaged in the earthquakes last year.
The grant distribution process has been accelerated since mid-June as the banks and financial institutions (BFIs) started grant distribution after signing a pact with the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) in May-end.
As compared to the 2,004 households that received the first tranche of grant during first three months of grant distribution, the number of households that received the assistance increased by 94 per cent during mid-June to mid-July. A total of 33,288 households obtained first instalment of the grant in the last one month.
If the grant is distributed at a similar pace then it will take around 16 months to complete the first tranche distribution process in 11-quake affected districts (excluding Kathmandu Valley).
The government has distributed first tranche of the grant amount of Rs 50,000 to only 6.6 per cent of the total 531,937 beneficiaries in 11 quake-hit districts as of today, since the distribution started four months back.
According to the Central Project Implementation Unit (CPIU) under the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD), only 35,292 households have received first instalment of the government’s aid. However, grant agreements have been signed with 255,039 or 52 per cent of the total beneficiaries till date.
The grant distribution process started at a slow pace despite procedural simplifications to accelerate the grant distribution process, according to NRA. The NRA has been distributing the grant amount through BFIs. Based on the beneficiaries list published by District Development Committee Offices in the 11 quake-hit districts, the concerned BFIs open accounts of beneficiaries of respective areas. The grant amount mobilised through CPIU will be deposited in the accounts of the beneficiaries, explained Ram Prasad Thapaliya, spokesperson for NRA.
“The beneficiary can obtain first instalment of the grant amount through the concerned BFI after the agreement has been signed,” said Thapaliya, adding, “BFIs provide grant based on the grant agreement and citizenship certificates but the beneficiary himself or herself needs to be present while receiving the grant.”
The grant distribution process started from March 13 — nearly 11 months after the devastating earthquake — for the first time from worst-hit Dolakha district. As of today, only 8,814 beneficiaries have received the grant amount out of 51,749 beneficiaries in Dolakha district alone.
As per CPIU, only 69 beneficiaries out of total 30,238 in Makawanpur district have received first tranche of Rs 50,000 from the government to start reconstructing their houses.
The government, immediately after the devastating earthquakes last year, had decided to allocate aid worth Rs 200,000 to the victims for reconstruction of houses. It took over 11 months to complete procedural stipulations and start distributing the grant.
Over 100,000 lodge complaints
KATHMANDU: As many as 100,876 households have filed complaints at the Central Project Implementation Unit (CPIU) under the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD) citing they are eligible to get the housing grant but were left out during the beneficiary survey. The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has developed a four-layer mechanism to address the complaints lodged by such households. The complaints will be addressed first through the village development committee and municipality level, then from the district development committee level. And the grievances that cannot be addressed through these layers will be addressed by the sub-regional offices of NRA and the grievances that cannot be settled through the sub-regional offices will be forwarded to the NRA head office, as per the Grievances Redressal Guideline, which was launched recently.
A version of this article appears in print on July 21, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.