Major political parties of Nepal on Wednesday agreed on the method for disbursing relief money for reconstructing the homes of victims of last year’s devastating earthquake.
The agreement stipulated the total amount of Rs 125,000 will be distributed in two instalments of Rs 93,750 and Rs 31,250, with the second instalment to be given after construction is completed.
Besides paving the way for disbursing the funds, which thousands of victims of the April 25, 2015 quake are waiting for, the agreement ended a logjam in parliament.
The Nepali Congress, the main opposition party, had stalled the working of parliament for five days and demanded the total amount should be paid in one go.
“We had no issues in giving the amount in one go. But the earlier work plan on relief distribution was preventing us from doing so,” Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli told parliament on Wednesday.
Under the new agreement, the government will have to amend the grant distribution procedure, as the earlier one stipulated releasing the amount in three installments, and also get fresh approval from donor agencies.
Last year’s quake killed nearly 9,000 people and destroyed more than 800,000 houses in 14 of the worst affected districts. Thousands of affected families are still living in temporary shelters.
In June last year, international donors, including India, had pledged $4.1 billion for reconstruction efforts, but work was affected by squabbles among political parties on how the money should be spent.