Nepal | August 15, 2020

Independence Day 2020

Ministries cagey about PM relief fund spending

Rajan Pokhrel
Share Now:

Ministry of Urban Development has reported that it utilised only 12 per cent of the total amount that it received from Central Disaster Relief Committee

Source: MoHA

Kathmandu, August 24

Four months have passed since the devastating earthquake struck the country killing over 8,900 persons but some of the ministries have not disclosed the spending details of the amount they received from the Prime Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund.

Some interesting, as well as shocking facts, have also emerged out of the government closet, regarding the utilisation of relief fund as the Deputy Prime Minister Bamdev Gautam-led Central Disaster Relief Committee chanellised nearly Rs 14 billion in the aftermath of April 25 earthquake.

While the PMDRF secretariat has time and again raised concern about the status of billions of rupees that have been released from the fund for government agencies to provide an immediate relief to the quake victims, the updated statistics available at the Ministry of Home Affairs, however, shows that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport and Ministry of Commerce and Supplies have not submitted expenditure details to MoHA yet.

Ministry of Urban Development, which allegedly embezzled fund by procuring low-quality tarpaulin sheets, has reported that it utilised only 12 per cent of the total amount that it received from CDRC.

According to National Emergency Operation Centre, MoUD received Rs 540 million, while MoPIT, MoFA and MoCS were given Rs 100 million, Rs 105 million and Rs 150 million, respectively. Interestingly, Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives said it purchased tarpaulin sheets worth Rs 4 million to provide emergency shelter to the livestock in worst-affected districts.

“Though the money received by the PMDRF from the government treasury or any other national or international source must be solely used for immediate relief and rescue, all 1,600 tarpaulin sheets bought in the first week of July have not been used,” a high-level official at the Animal Health Directorate revealed, adding that the agriculture ministry received Rs 250 million from the relief fund.

“Ministry of Industry reportedly purchased biscuits and instant noodles worth Rs 66 million, while Ministry of Health, which received Rs 55 million, however, reported that it spent nearly Rs 39 million to provide emergency healthcare services to the needy,” the MoHA’s data shows.

Nearly Rs 1.5 billion was released to seven ministries, as well as Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and Nepali Army, but the data reveals that only Rs 483mn was spent by the concerned agencies.

Records of financial administration section of MoHA also show since April 26 it has released Rs 12.45 billion for 60 districts to provide immediate relief to the affected people. “Till date, district disaster committees have, however, spent Rs 10.46 billion for relief and rescue work,” it adds.

According to a MoHA source, it paid more than Rs 123 million to six private helicopter companies that reportedly commenced rescue flights for 594 hours immediately after the quakes. “Though the airlines demanded nearly Rs 130 million for their operations, MoHA paid only Rs 123 million to them by fixing a standard rate in time of crisis,” an official told this daily.


A version of this article appears in print on August 25, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Leipzig stun Atletico to reach Champions League last four

LISBON: RB Leipzig stunned Atletico Madrid, with a 2-1 victory in their Champions League quarter-final on Thursday, to reach the competition's last four for the first time in their club's short history. With two minutes of normal time remaining, United States midfielder Tyler Adams snatched Read More...

Govt urged to rescue Nepalis stranded abroad

Kathmandu, August 13 The National Human Rights Commission has recommended that the Government of Nepal rescue Nepalis stranded in foreign countries on the basis of their financial condition and risk analysis. ‘Report on Human Rights Situation of Nepali Migrant Workers during the COVID-19 Pan Read More...

Mexico, coronavirus outbreak;

Mexico, with over 500,000 coronavirus cases, to help with vaccine

MEXICO CITY: Mexico, having hit over half a million official coronavirus cases and 55,000 deaths as the pandemic rages across Latin America, will help produce a vaccine that could be distributed in the region next year, authorities said on Thursday. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has s Read More...

The office of the prime minister and council of ministers, OPMCM

Compensation announced for victims’ families in Soti incident

Kathmandu, August 13 The government has decided to provide Rs 1 million each to the families of victims in the Soti incident. Meeting of the Council of Ministers decided to provide monetary relief to the families of the victims of the incident that occurred on May 23 at Soti, Chaurjahari-8, in Read More...

Peru, coronavirus

Peru surpasses 500,000 coronavirus cases, marks highest fatality rate in LatAm

LIMA: Peru surpassed half a million coronavirus cases and has the highest fatality rate in Latin America, according to health ministry data on Thursday, as the government struggles to contain a recent surge of infections. There have been 507,996 confirmed cases and 25,648 related deaths, vice Read More...

Jobs of nearly 50,000 workers associated with party venues, catering services at risk

KATHMANDU, AUGUST 13 The monthly salary of Rs 15,000 was barely enough for Keshav Kunwar, a resident of Bhaktapur, to make ends meet. But when the government announced a nationwide lockown in March to control the spread of coronavirus, the party palace he was working for also shuttered, thereby c Read More...

No religious fair at Gokarneshwor temple

Kathmandu, August 13 A religious fair that takes place each year at Gokarneshwor Mahadev Temple, on the outskirts of Kathmandu on the new-moon-day in the month of Bhadra of the lunar calendar has been cancelled this year due to the COVID crisis. This year the event falls on August 19. On this Read More...

Govt directed to submit report on management of old vehicles

Kathmandu, August 13 The Supreme Court has issued an order to the Government of Nepal, directing it to submit a report, with proposal and action plan, on the management of dysfunctional vehicles and materials dumped on the premises of government offices. In response to a writ petition filed by Read More...