The Ministry of Home Affairs is set to provide grants to drug users' treatment and rehabilitation centres to guarantee the right to basic health services of each citizen.

According to Drug Control Section of the MoHA, rehabilitation centres that have not exceeded the time limit of one year after getting grant earlier, and those that have not completed two years of establishment will not be eligible to receive the amount.

MoHA has called on interested rehabilitation centres to submit an application to the Section within 15 days.

The application should be accompanied by a copy of the association/organisation's registration certificate, statute of the concerned organisation, decision of annual general meeting, annual audit report, tax clearance certificate of last fiscal, certificate of VAT/PAN registration, map of the organisation and details of human resources.

According to Drug Control Section at the MoHA, a total of 16 rehabilitation centres had submitted proposal, seeking capital grants in line with Grants Distribution Procedures, 2021.

"During evaluation of the proposals, three applicants were selected on merit basis," it said. It informed that agreement had also been reached with the concerned rehabilitation centres regarding utilisation of grants being provided to them, last week.

MoHA officials had also conducted on-site monitoring of rehabilitation centres prior to the selection procedure.

The MoHA said the grants would be utilised by rehabilitation centres for conducting skills development training of drug users who undergo treatment there.

The rehabilitation centres claiming grants should be established and operated in a place with clean and peaceful environment, in close proximity to a hospital or a health institution with transportation facilities. A rehabilitation centre should have at least one ropani land in Kathmandu valley and a minimum of three ropani land in other parts of the country.

As per the grant procedures, MoHA may provide grant to the centres both in cash or kind as needed.

"The upper limit of the capital grant to be provided to the registered rehabilitation centres shall be in line with the approved budget and programme of the MoHA," it says.

Any rehabilitation centre that has not conducted annual general meeting, has not held elections of board of the directors and accounts committee, has not carried out annual audit as of last fiscal and has not submitted tax clearance certificate shall not be entitled to the grant.

MoHA shall recover the grant amount provided to rehabilitation centres as government dues along with legal action if the grants are found to have been misused or embezzled.

As per a 2020 report on drug users published by the MoHA, drug abuse among youths is spreading at an alarming rate in the country. The report stated that at least 130,424 youths are drug users in Nepal compared to 91,744 a decade ago.

A version of this article appears in the print on December 17, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.