Kathmandu, November 24
The National Reconstruction Authority is preparing to launch a comprehensive post-reconstruction rehabilitation programme for earthquake and natural disaster victims.
The government had recently endorsed the integrated working procedure to avail disaster victims with subsidised loan from banks and financial institutions.
The NRA will send one social mobiliser to each local level and one engineer to each district to help victims get loans to uplift their social and economic condition.
NRA Chief Executive Officer Sushil Gyewali said his office was trying to get assistance from the World Bank to send social mobilisers to each local level and engineers to each district. Social mobilisers will provide social and technical support to disaster victims and engineers will refer the victims to the concerned agencies for subsidised loan. The government came up with this policy as the previous plan to provide loan did not work properly.
“We are preparing a roadmap in coordination with World Bank to implement integrated economic rehabilitation programme. Facilitators will be deployed under this programme,” Gyewali said.
According to him, 732,771 beneficiaries who have signed the grant agreement with the government to build houses will be eligible to get six types of soft loans, which the Cabinet recently endorsed. “But those beneficiaries may not know how to avail the soft loan. Therefore, we will send our staff to support them,” Gyewali said. According to him, the NRA is working with the objective of achieving concrete results within the next two years.
The integrated working procedure says banks and financial institutions will have to give first priority to earthquake, flood and disaster victims for soft loans. Banks and financial institutions cannot charge more than two per cent interest on schemes categorised as deprived sector loan. The total interest these loans will carry will be seven per cent, of which the government will bear five per cent and
the beneficiaries will bear two per cent.
“We have worked on a policy to provide soft loan to victims of earthquake, flood and natural disasters. The policy allows them to get six types of soft loan to uplift their economic and social condition” Gyewali said.
According to NRA, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Ministry of Industry and other departments have already spent Rs 1.10 billion under economic and social rehabilitation programmes. The NRA is also planning to launch a special social rehabilitation programme for those injured during earthquake, differently-abled persons, single persons, senior citizens and homeless children. The government had announced this programme in the past but did not implement it.
The Central Bank has also called for disbursement of loans at subsidised interest rates as per the integrated working procedure. The government had announced this plan to provide interest subsidy on loans for various programmes including youth self-employment, women entrepreneurship and agriculture and livestock promotion.
For example, if a disaster victim wants Rs 50,000,000 loan, s/he should deposit collateral for it and get the loan endorsed by the Central Coordination and Monitoring Committee led by deputy governor of Nepal Rastra Bank. They should pay back within five years. Collective guarantee will be needed for loan up to Rs 1,000,000 and more.
Soft loans to be provided
Loan heading Loan amount
A version of this article appears in print on November 25, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.