Lawmakers call on all to contribute to the nation

Kathmandu, June 3: The lawmakers have called on all, from the President and the Prime Minister to the general public, to show the spirit of dedication and sacrifice by way of financial assistance befitting their respective capacity to the country at the time of the national disaster.

They called for assistance citing that much assistance was needed for the relief of the earthquake survivors and for reconstruction as the powerful earthquakes on April 25, 26 and May 12, and the subsequent aftershocks caused a big loss of life and property.

The MPs suggested cutting down on the facilities enjoyed by the Head of State, the chiefs of the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary and the civil servants for mobilising assistance for the earthquake survivors.

“Why not cut down on the facilities from the President Dr Ram Baran Yadav , the chiefs of all the three organs of the State – the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary, and the civil servants, ” they said and also underlined the need for the people to extend helping hands to the government .

A majority of the lawmakers who spoke in the meeting of the Finance Committee of the Legislature-Parliament today urged the people to gear up for rebuilding through own hard work and efforts while giving up the mentality of looking up to the foreigners.

As per the preliminary statistics released by the Ministry of Finance, the earthquake has caused a loss of about Rs 10 billion. The government is organizing a donors’ conference on June 25 for mobilizing financial assistance for reconstruction and rehabilitation.

Former Finance Minister Bharat Mohan Adhikari said all, including the President, the Prime Minister, the civil servants and the general public, should provide financial assistance. We should not be dependant on the donors alone, he stressed. Adhikari also suggested holding the donor agencies meeting only after determining the needs and priorities once the exact data on the damage caused by the earthquake is available.

Another former Finance Minister Surendra Pandey also suggested not tohold the donors conference in a hurry but lay emphasis on the recovery of sectors like tourism, agriculture and water resources with more economic activities. He added that it was very important to give out the message to the international community that the Himalayan ranges in Nepal were safe and works should be carried out to that end with priority.

MP Jagadish Narsingh KC stressed on providing income-generating skills to the quake survivors along with the economic aid package.

MP Shakti Basnet suggested bringing the land use policy soon and organising the donors meet only after identifying the priority areas.

Similarly, MPs Bidur Sapkota, Sher Bahadur Tamang, Shankar Bhandari, Dal Bahadur Sunar, Rita Shahi, Deepak Kuinkel and Janardan Dhakal suggested proceeding ahead with the reconstruction and rehabilitation works only after bringing the land use and settlement policies.

They also called for cutting down the facilities provided from the state treasury at the time of national crisis and channeling that towards reconstruction.

The committee directed the government to ensure that the Rs 15,000 relief that the government has announced to the earthquake affected people for construction of temporary shelters gets in their hands within a week.

Likewise, the committee directed the Nepal Rastra Bank to inform it on the terms of reference for the concessional loan of the amount of Rs 15,000 and Rs 2.5 million that the government has said it will provide to the quake survivors at 2 per cent interest rate.

The meeting also directed the Finance Minister, the Finance Secretary and the Vice-Chairman of the National Planning Commission to inform it regarding the reconstruction and rehabilitation programmes.

Committee president Prakash Jwala presided over the meeting. RSS