NC to press govt to pass reconstruction bill at earliest

Kathmandu, November 16

Nepali Congress today decided to put pressure on the government to immediately move ahead with the bill related to reconstruction authority at the Legislature-Parliament and pass it to give continuity to the works carried out by the erstwhile government for earthquake affected people and areas.

A meeting of NC central leaders and lawmakers representing earthquake affected districts held at the NC’s Parliamentary Party Office in Singha Durbar, decided to hold talks with Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on the issues, according to NC leader Nabindra Raj Joshi.

The party’s Acting President Ramchandra Paudel will hold talks with Oli and the NC will play a constructive role in passing the bill to ensure early relief for affected people and reconstruction of damaged structures, Joshi said.

Many affected people have not received relief money announced by the government even six months after the April 25 earthquake. “Some families have not received Rs 15,000 as announced by the government as initial relief.

The government had announced Rs 2 lakhs as assistance and Rs 1.5 to 2.5 million as soft loan to each family to reconstruct damaged houses. However, they have not received the money. In this regard, the government should act quickly as affected people are suffering badly as the winter season sets in,” Joshi said.

Also, the meeting decided to demand that the government make lawmakers of the affected districts participants in planning, implementing and monitoring reconstruction works in the areas they represent, according to Joshi.

The NC will put pressure on the government to give continuity to the bill without changing its main spirit. “As the bill was tabled by the NC-led government and CPN-UML was also a partner in the government, the incumbent government should give continuity to the bill without changing its main spirit,” Joshi said.

As the UML is planning to amend the original bill to clear the way to appoint a new Chief Executive Officer in the proposed reconstruction authority, the NC is planning to put pressure on the government to reappoint Govinda Pokharel as the CEO, according to sources.

Relations between NC and UML had soured in the later days of the Sushil Koirala-led government after UML did not cooperate with the NC in passing the bill from Parliament.

Around 55 amendment proposals, most from UML lawmakers, were registered in the Parliament opposing some of the provisions of the bill and that had halted the NC’s plan to pass the bill.