NRA extends deadline for second tranche of housing grant

Kathmandu, February 9

The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has extended the deadline for beneficiaries of housing grants to avail the second tranche of housing grant until mid-April.

The meeting of NRA steering committee, headed by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, today decided to extend the mid-January deadline for distribution of second instalment of housing grant citing that a majority of beneficiaries are yet to take the second tranche.

However, NRA has already set the deadline until this fiscal year for identified eligible housing aid beneficiaries to collect entire grant amount.

The government has identified 767,705 quake victims eligible for the housing grant and has signed agreements with 684,468 beneficiaries.

The beneficiaries get Rs 50,000 in the first tranche, Rs 150,000 in the second and Rs 100,000 in the third instalment. However, to be eligible for the second and third tranches, they need to start building houses as per the government set building code.

Meanwhile, the Deuba-led government has recently decided to provide an additional grant of Rs 100,000 to the beneficiaries. This means that identified quake beneficiaries will get a total of Rs 400,000 under the housing grant.

As per NRA, 671,577 quake beneficiaries have received the first tranche of housing grant while applications for second tranche of 234,110 beneficiaries have been approved. Similarly, NRA has also approved the applications of 55,578 quake beneficiaries for the third tranche.

Addressing the NRA steering committee meeting today, Prime Minister Deuba opined that the post-earthquake reconstruction works have been satisfactory despite various challenges and urged NRA to further intensify the pace of reconstruction works.

The steering committee member of NRA and Finance Minister Gyanendra Bahadur Karki informed that the Ministry of Finance (MoF) has been putting efforts to manage resources for the additional Rs 100,000 grant the government has decided to provide to quake survivors recently.

Karki defended the government’s decision to provide additional Rs 100,000 to quake survivors citing that the decision came in light of quake survivors being unable to reconstruct their damaged houses due to resources crunch.

Minister Karki also informed that the World Bank has committed to provide Rs 40 billion to the government for the distribution of the fourth tranche of housing grant (Rs 100,000).

On the occasion, NRA Chief Executive Officer Yubraj Bhusal stated that the lack of technical resources with the government has been one of the major setbacks in reconstruction tasks. “However, the reconstruction progress of physical structures, especially quake-damaged houses, is satisfactory,” he informed.

Stating that the reconstruction process has been facing budget deficit, Vice-Chairman of National Planning Commission Swarnim Wagle informed that the commission is planning to hold a second series of donors’ conference to seek additional budget for reconstruction works.