INGOs call for revival of reconstruction authority

Kathmandu, September 30

The Association of International Non-governmental Organisations (AIN) in Nepal has called on the government and political leadership to urgently reinstate the National Authority for Reconstruction (NAR) to give impetus to post-earthquake reconstruction works.

“The parliament, which is due to resume soon, should pass a Bill urgently to reinstate the NAR so that plans can be developed for recovery and reconstruction.

Endorsement of the Bill will raise the confidence of donors and encourage them to provide the pledged funds,” a statement issued today by the AIN quotes its Chairperson Rajendra Mulmi as saying.

A week ago, the International Development Partner Group in Nepal had also made an appeal to the government and lawmakers to immediately finalise appropriate legislation and take necessary steps and decisions to establish NAR, which is crucial to effectively oversee the huge reconstruction tasks.

“NAR has to be functional as soon as possible to protect the interest of people affected by the earthquakes,” says the AIN statement, reminding the government and lawmakers that ‘the winter season is a few months away and many people still don’t have a permanent house’.

The AIN, an umbrella body of over 100 INGOs, has also said that the appropriate legislation on NAR was crucial to dispel confusion in the districts where reconstruction and rehabilitation works are underway.

“Reconstruction and recovery works are already underway in many districts. But there is a lack of clarity on many issues due to the absence of NAR, which is causing confusion,” says the statement. “So, further delay in reinstatement of NAR will only defer implementation of recovery and reconstruction works.”

The government had introduced the Ordinance on Reconstruction of Structures Damaged by the Earthquake ahead of the June 25 International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction to form NAR. Based on this Ordinance, the government on August 13 appointed Govind Raj Pokhrel as the CEO of NAR.

Then during NAR’s first meeting, held in presence of Prime Minister and NAR Chairperson Sushil Koirala on August 25, 31 districts to execute rehabilitation and reconstruction works were identified.

However, NAR has remained defunct since then, as parliament failed to approve the replacement Bill, derived from the Ordinance, within 60 days of commencement of the parliament session.

Later, amendments were also made to the replacement Bill, which divided NAR into three layers of Consultative Committee headed by the prime minister, Steering Committee headed by PM and two ministers designated by the PM, and Executive Committee headed by the CEO.

But the amended Bill could not be endorsed due to lack of consensus among political parties. Since then nothing has happened.