NPC given task of post-quake reconstruction and relief work

Kathmandu, November 19

The government has assigned National Planning Commission to carry out the post-earthquake reconstruction and relief work until the formation of National Reconstruction Authority.

Today’s Cabinet meeting decided to shoulder all reconstruction and relief activities under the coordination of NPC until a pending bill related to the formation of NRA is endorsed by the House, said Sherdhan Rai, spokesperson of the government and Minister for Information and Communications.

The National Reconstruction Authority bill has long been pending in Parliament due to lack of consensus among major political forces.

The bill was tabled at the House by the erstwhile Nepali Congress-led government. The new government took this decision when Nepali Congress now the main opposition party was pushing for early endorsement of the bill.

Due to delay in setting up NRA, nothing substantive has been done to address the woes of quake victims and to carry out the multi-billion dollars’ reconstruction and recovery work in disaster-hit areas.

The government accepted Japan’s Rs 1.57 billion grant and additional Rs 23 billion in soft loan for the purpose of reconstruction. Japan had pledged the support during Nepal’s donors’ conference in June.

Meanwhile, one more public holiday has been added with the Cabinet deciding to give official leave to all government offices across the country on the birth date of Kirant religious figure Falgunananda which falls on Kartik 25.

The government will also review public holidays and the Ministry Home Affairs has been directed to initiate this by setting up a task force, Minister Rai said.

The Cabinet meeting also decided to continue talks with the agitating Madhes-based parties in a bid to convince them about the new constitution.

Similarly, the government will hold talks with India to lift the border blockade, said government spokesperson and Minister for Information and Communications and Technology Sherdhan Rai.

The government, meanwhile, decided to explore all possibilities to ease the fuel crisis the nation is currently facing following the border blockade.

Similarly, the govt decided to operate trade activities via the Sino-Nepal trade routes of Tatopani and Rasuwagadi in a bid to ease supply of daily essentials. It also appointed retired lieutenant general Prakash Bahadur Basnet and Ajaya Kranti Shakya as Prime Minister Oli’s Security, and Science and Technology advisers, respectively.


Mechanism to monitor black marketing

KATHMANDU: The government has set up a mechanism under the coordination of a secretary of the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers to control the growing black-marketing of petroleum products across the country.

Thursday’s Cabinet meeting formed the monitoring team after black-marketing became widespread and people were forced to buy essential commodities at exorbitant prices.

According to Minister for Information and Communications Sherdhan Rai, the team will keep records of how much petroleum products arrived, where they are being kept and when and how they were distributed.

The data will be made public every week, he added.

Officials at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Nepal Police and other concerned stakeholders will be part of the mechanism.