Government issues COVID-19 fund directive

Kathmandu, April 11

The Government of Nepal has issued the COVID-19 Infection Prevention, Control and Treatment Fund Directive for funding financial resources in the fight against novel coronavirus.

The directive provides guidance for the operation of the COVID-19 Infection Prevention, Control and Treatment Fund, established as per the decision of the March 22 meeting of the Council of Ministers.

According to the directives, the fund aims to procure drugs and medical equipment, develop infrastructure to manage persons infected with virus, mobilise necessary human resources and distribute relief materials to the needy people.

Amounts received from the Government of Nepal, provincial governments, local governments, foreign governments, institutions/ organisations or persons, governmental and non-governmental organisations and domestic organisations or persons shall be credited to the fund. Approval of the Ministry of Finance shall be required for receiving amount from foreign governments, institutions/organisations or persons.

“If anyone receives any amount from foreign governments, institutions/organisations or persons without approval of the MoF, s/ he shall be liable to action under the prevailing law,” the directive reads. It stipulates a seven-member fund operation committee headed by vice-chair of the National Planning Commission.

Its members include finance secretary, home secretary, federal affairs secretary, health secretary, financial comptroller general and secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers.

Functions, duties and powers of the committee are to provide cash to the agencies concerned for procurement of drugs, medical equipment and other logistics; mobilisation of human resources and development of necessary infrastructures and distribution of relief as per the decision of the Government of Nepal.

The committee shall have to sanction the amount only for the purpose of activities related to prevention, control and treatment of COV- ID-19. The amount to be transferred to the local level fund shall be provided through the bank account of the concerned District Treasury Controller Office.

“In an emergency situation, the concerned DTCO may provide the prescribed amount to the local level fund from its balance in a manner to be reimbursed by the Government of Nepal later,” it reads.

The fund shall be operated by the Financial Comptroller General Office as per the accounting system adopted by the Government of Nepal.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 12, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.