Fund crunch at Anti-Poverty Ministry hits ID card project

KATHMANDU: The proposed distribution of identity cards "poor households" has been pushed into limbo after the Ministry of Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation said it did not have enough money for the relief funds.

The Poor Households Support Coordination Board Secretariat had identified nearly 100,000 households living under the poverty line in 25 districts. The highest were found in Bajura district with 64.1 per cent and the lowest in Tanahun district with 14.8 per cent.

But, the ID cards would not be distributed to them owing to the financial crisis, Minister Hridaya Ram Thani informed today.

Thani said the cards would not be distributed unless the government provided an additional fund to the Ministry.

He further clarified that the distribution of cards alone would pose further problem as the worse off would not get any needed relief aid.

According to the Ministry, the calculated 8.4 per cent of the population is living under the poverty line currently. However, the exact number of individual poor is unknown.

But nearly 400,000 households are living under the poverty line, according to the Ministry.

The government had funded Rs 5.5 billion and Rs 31 billion for the Poverty Alleviation Fund and the Youth and Small Entrepreneur Self-Employment Fund respectively for the fiscal year 2016/17.