Govt loan on anvil to help ex-Kamaiyas

Kathmandu, February 5:

The government is set to disburse a long-term soft loan to ex-Kamaiyas in five Terai districts of the mid and far-western regions to enable them to buy land for their livelihood.

The Ministry of Land Reforms and Management will start disbursing the loan to the freed-Kamaiyas from mid-February under the concept of the Land Bank, which was announced by the King in his address to the nation on February 1.

Acting secretary at the ministry, Yuvaraj Bhusal, told this daily that a freed-Kamaiya family holding a red card would be first given a loan of up to Rs 1,50,000 on three per cent annual interest through the Agriculture Development Bank. The family will have to pay back the loan money to the government within 15 years. The family will be exempt from interest for an initial two years, but will not be allowed to sell the land until full repayment of the loan. The freed-family purchasing the land will also be exempt from land registration fee, said Bhusal.

Around 25 freed Kamaiyas in Banke and 15 more in Kailali have already made deals with landlords for the purchase of land. These persons will be disbursed the loan of Rs 1,50,000 each during the second week of February, he said, adding the government had already allocated Rs 20 million in Banke and Rs 30 million in Kailali for the purpose of giving loans to freed Kamaiyas.

He said the concept of soft loan to freed Kamiayas for land purchase was mooted by the ministry after it held a series of discussions with stakeholders in Dang, Banke, Bardiya, Kailali and Kanchanpur districts, where around 26,000 freed Kamaiyas have been recorded.

Bhusal said the stakeholders were satisfied with the government’s concept of the long-term soft loan to them. He said this concept was developed after the previous governments’ decision to provide three to five katthas of land to each freed Kamaiya did not solve the problem of their livelihood.

Bhusal said under the new policy a freed Kamaiya family will find a suitable plot of land in the district of their residence and the Agriculture Development Bank will disburse the loan to the family as recommended by the Land Reforms Office.