पुनर्निर्माण अपडेट

NRA demands Rs. 17 billion more

Kathmandu, August 27: The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) whose tenure is coming to an end soon, has asked for Rs. 17 billion with the Finance Ministry. Though the NRA’s tenure is ending on December 25 this year, the reconstruction works are not going to complete.

The government had allocated Rs. 33.55 billion in the current fiscal year 2078/79, the NRA said the allocated budget will not be enough to complete its task.

The NRA has said that it would need Rs. 7.55 billion more in the current fiscal year for the reconstruction of private housing. There is a need for Rs. 16.50 billion more to cover all reconstruction works this year, according to Sushil Gyewali, Chief Executive Officer of the NRA. This cost does not include salary of staffs and administrative costs. “If we add staff salary and administrative costs, we need Rs. 17.8 billion more in this fiscal year,” he said.

As per the budget estimate in the planning and programs, the NRA needs Rs. 575 million more and it had relayed the message to the Finance Ministry as soon as the budget was announced, according to CEO Gyewali.

According to NRA, there is shortage of Rs. 711.3 million for the reconstruction of local roads and bridges and Rs. 467 million for the reconstruction of monasteries.

“NRA tenure is till December 25,” Gyewali said, “The remaining works will be handed over to the concerned ministries within that time.” He said that the NRA Steering Committee meeting held on August 25 had made this decision.

The NRA has demanded extra budget of Rs. 1.171 billion for the reconstruction of government and historic buildings, Rs. 1.567 billion for health institutions, Rs. 279 million for traditional heritage settlements, Rs. 116.5 million to build earthquake memorial park, Rs. 15.471 million and Rs. 205 million for the reconstruction of integrated settlements.

“The extra amount demanded now will go to the concerned ministries and departments, along with the handover of remaining work,” said Gyewali.

As per the information provided by the NRA, the shortfall amount is Rs. 1.32 billion for the reconstruction of archaeological heritage temples, Rs. 1.22 billion for Dharahara, Ranipokhari, Narayanhiti Palace Museum, Tri-Chandra College and the proposed Democratic Museum.

The NRA has also estimated Rs. 17 billion 265 million for the fiscal year 2078/79 and 2080/81.

Until now, Rs. 71 billion 536.7 million have been spent in the post-earthquake reconstruction, according to CEO Gyewali.

As per the Post-Disaster Recovery Framework (PDRF) approved by the NRA Steering Committee, the total cost of the post-earthquake reconstruction and rehabilitation is Rs. 488.54 billion. However, as some works got completed in less cost and the projects that have been carried out under the regular budget and program of the concerned ministries and departments, the total revised cost of reconstruction was Rs. 470.25 billion, according to CEO Gyewali.

Out of Rs. 190.78 billion agreed with the donor agencies to spend under the government’s budget system, Rs. 52.97 billion is yet to be spent. “We have already signed agreements with the donor agencies for the rest of the amount and will receive the amount as we implement the projects,” said Gyewali.

As per the Steering Committee meeting, the NRA would start handing over the remaining work and it would carry out the overall coordination, monitoring, auditing and facilitation work. It would also organize the International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction (ICNR) slated to be held from December 7 to 9 this year.

Meanwhile, the reconstruction work has come to a standstill as the tenure of about 2,000 technicians has not been extended. “We wished to continue the work of these engineers and we proposed that in the Steering Committee meeting too,” said Gyewali. “But the question came up as to why we need this big human resource? It was said that the concerned ministries will mobilize necessary human resources once they are handed over the responsibility of remaining work.”

He informed that the Ministry of Urban Development has been advised to prioritize these engineers while carrying out the remaining reconstruction work.

As per the data till July 15, 703,307 beneficiaries out of 829,667 beneficiaries who have signed agreement for the government grant have received the third tranche. About 85 percent beneficiaries have reconstructed their houses while the houses of 7 percent beneficiaries are currently under-construction.

From Kantipur – August 27, 2021

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