High-level NRA panel to oversee partners-supported projects

Published On: October 24, 2016 12:20 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Oct 24: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who is also the chairman of the Advisory Council of the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA), has formed a Development Aid Coordination and Facilitation Committee on Sunday for effective monitoring of reconstruction and rehabilitation projects supported by the development partners and activities of I/NGOs.  

Another important task of the 11-member high-level committee formed under Chief Executive Officer of NRA Sushil Gyewali will also be to collect the funds pledged by the donors and to seek new avenues of funding to meet the estimated total of Rs 938 billion required for the overall task of reconstruction as per the NRA's five-year reconstruction plan. 

The NRA has signed agreements with various donor agencies for only Rs 272 billion so far and it still needed Rs 666 billion for the overall reconstruction task.  

In the committee, one representative each from the Indian government, Chinese government, World Bank and the Asian Development Bank are members of the committee in their capacity as key donors in the reconstruction task. Likewise, two members from the international development partner organizations, the president of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), the president of the NGO Federation Nepal, and the president of the Association of International NGOs Nepal have been appointed as other members while NRA secretary is the member secretary of the committee.  

Similarly, secretaries of the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Planning Commission, and the Office of the Auditor General and concerned officials of the NRA will be invitee members of the committee, according to NRA officials.

"So, the committee will oversee development partners-supported reconstruction projects as well as the activities of the I/NGOs and make necessary recommendations to make their activities effective and transparent," Secretary of NRA Madhusudan Adhikari said, adding that the committee will work to bring uniformity in projects operated with support from development aid and avoid to duplication in the reconstruction task.  

He said that the committee will evaluate their work and make necessary recommendations to the development partners and I/NGOs to ensure that their activities comply with the reconstruction directives of the government.   

"With the help of the committee, not only the government but also the development partners can evaluate their project process and adopt necessary efforts to complete them on time," Adhikari said.  

As of now, the NRA has given authorization to over 140 I/NGOs to carry out various reconstruction works in the earthquake-affected districts, but until now, there was no proper mechanism to oversee their activities. But from now onward, the committee will oversee them. Another committee led by members of parliament is also in the offing to oversee the activities of the I/NGOs at the district level. This committee will also recommend legal actions in case of irregularities. 

Similarly, during the donor conference, altogether 25 countries and donors pledged to provide around Rs 410 billion but agreements for only Rs 272 billion have been signed so far. And, as of now, countries including Norway, Austria, Australia, Bangladesh, South Korea, Pakistan, Switzerland, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and Turkey are yet to sign agreements with the government of Nepal for providing the pledged money.  

"So, the committee will make necessary efforts to collect the pledged money and also explore new avenues for more funds," Adhikari said 

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