Reconstruction grant to be increased to Rs 300,000: PM

Published On: September 6, 2016 07:04 AM NPT By: Nabin Khatiwada

KATHMANDU, Sept 5: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal said on Monday that the government will soon take a decision regarding increasing the house reconstruction grant for quake victims by Rs 100,000.

Dahal informed the Development Committee of Parliament on Monday that the government is preparing to increase the grant amount to Rs 300,000. 

“The government is preparing to provide an additional grant of Rs 100,000 to quake victims. The government will take a formal decision in this regard soon,” said Dahal.

He also said that the grant amount of Rs 300,000 and a soft loan of Rs 200,000 would add up to Rs 500,000 and that would be an effective amount for building a quake-resilient home.

Speaking at the committee meeting, Dahal said that the task of providing the first tranche of grant amount to the victims of the 11 most-affected districts has gained momentum in the last one month. “I have been taking updates everyday about the distribution of the first tranche. Until Sunday afternoon more than 275,000 victims have received the first tranche,” he added.

However, Dahal lamented the delay in taking forward the reconstruction work even 18 months after the devastating earthquake. “The government is not in a position to provide grants from its own resources. We have to look at donors for aid and accept their conditions,” said Dahal.

Postal Highway, agenda for PM’s India visit
Dahal informed the House panel that Postal Highway would be an agenda during his upcoming India visit. “I am visiting India from September 15. The Postal Highway would definitely be an agenda for discussion during my visit,” said Dahal.

Both the PM and Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Ramesh Lekhak claimed that the issues related to the Postal Highway have been settled. “The government will start the construction of Janakpur-Jaleshwar-Bhittamod section of the Postal Highway soon. The government is planning to organize a foundation-stone-laying ceremony next week,” Lekhak informed the House panel.

Mechanism to monitor development projects
Speaking at the House panel, Dahal said that the government is mulling forming a high-level mechanism to monitor the progress of development programs and projects in future.

“We need to end the situation of being unable to spend the development budget. For this, the government has been preparing to form a powerful mechanism to monitor the progress of development programs and projects of national pride,” said Dahal, in response to the questions from lawmakers. The House committee had summoned the prime minister and seven ministers to its meeting on Monday to take briefings on the progress of reconstruction works in quake-affected districts as well as the progress in holding local elections and development programs.

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