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More money for reconstruction

Sunday, September 25th, 2016
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A meeting of the Advisory Committee of the NRA on Sunday. Photo: RSS

Exactly two months after a devastating earthquake last year, Nepal’s political leadership won praises for successfully holding an international conference in Kathmandu where donors pledged Rs 410 billion for post-quake reconstruction.

The then-Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat was even named by the UK’s Banker magazine as the Best Finance Minister of 2016 for successfully mobilising resources for reconstruction of the earthquake-hit Himalayan nation.

However, the National Reconstruction Authority, which was set up late last year after months of political wrangling over its leadership, said on Sunday that Rs 410 billion is not even half the money required for rebuilding houses, schools, health institutes, temples and infrastructures.

When the NRA’s Advisory Committee held its first meeting under the leadership of new Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Sunday, the NRA CEO Sushil Gyewali said: “We need to manage more resources either internally or from donors.”

According to a report presented by Gyewali to the NRA Advisory Committee, the money pledged by donors is just 47 per cent of the actual need of Rs 938 billion. “We need an additional Rs 595 billion,” he said.

Previously, the NRA had prepared Post Disaster Recovery Framework (PRF), requiring Rs 838 billion for reconstruction over the next five years. But after Dahal became Prime Minister, the new government proposed to add Rs 100,000 to the original Rs 200,000 housing grants. The NRA Advisory Committee, however, has yet not endorsed the government’s proposal.

“If we give Rs 100,000 more, and loan up to Rs 300,000 for reconstruction of individual houses, our total budget goes by Rs 100 billion,” said Gyewali.

 

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