Compensation for flood-affected only after PDNA

Kathmandu, October 9

Flood-affected people across the country would be able to get the compensation amount from the government only after National Planning Commission (NPC) — the apex planning body of the government — finalises Post-Disaster Need Assessment (PDNA).

During the joint meeting of the secretaries, Finance Secretary Shanta Raj Subedi said,  “NPC is preparing the PDNA, which is necessary to determine the actual figures of loss. Only after that will the government be able to provide the compensation to the victims.”

He also clarified that the government would not be able to fully compensate the loss of the affected people.

Answering the questions raised by Suroj Pokhrel, secretary at Ministry of Agriculture Development (MoAD) and Yubak Dhoj GC, secretary at Ministry of Livestock Development (MoLD), Subedi said, “The government can only provide a certain amount that will help revive the business of the affected people and facilitate them to get back on their feet.”

According to the preliminary report of MoAD, the floods and landslides of July and August destroyed the planted crops worth over Rs eight billion across the country.

However, the NPC is still yet to finalise the actual loss due to the natural disasters.

GC informed during the meeting that livestock with total value of Rs 10 billion were swept away by the floods and landslides. “The pile of applications seeking compensation is growing every day. The ministry has to pay Rs 10 billion as per the demand, but we have budget of only Rs 6.5 million for compensation,” he said.

On  a different note, Devendra Karki, secretary at Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Management, said “We have completed temporary maintenance of roads and bridges that were affected by the landslides and floods. But the finance ministry has not allocated extra budget as per our demand for the permanent reconstruction.”

Similarly, Sagar Kumar Rai, joint secretary at Ministry of Irrigation, raised the same issue in the meeting. “Finance ministry is not allocating the necessary budget on timely manner. Ministries, which are directly associated with development process, are not being able to move ahead because of this,” Raid said.

Meanwhile, the finance ministry clarified that it would also not provide extra budget to the ministries that have reconstructed the infrastructure damaged by the floods and landslides before the PDNA.

Addressing the queries from the secretaries, Finance Minister Gyanendra Bahadur Karki said that the government is trying to ramp up the capital expenditure. “We are ready to solve all the problems raised in this meeting. Our priority is to increase capital expenditure,” he said.

Karki also directed the secretaries to be proactive in increasing capital expenditure.

The Ministry of Finance had called all the secretaries to the review meeting of the first two months of the current fiscal year.

According to the data maintained by Financial Comptroller General Office, the government has spent only 1.27 per cent or Rs 4.27 billion of total capital expenditure allocated for the current fiscal. The government has allocated capital expenditure of Rs 335.17 billion for this fiscal, which is 26.2 per cent of the total budget worth Rs 1,278.99 billion.