Country needs Rs 666 billion for reconstruction
The country needs more than the current fiscal year’s budget to reconstruct the damaged infrastructure by the devastating earthquake of 7.8-magnitude on April 25.
The preliminary report of Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) has estimated some Rs 666.31 billion ($6,663.1 million) for reconstruction of partially and completely damaged properties by the devastating earthquake of April 25 and subsequent aftershocks. The current fiscal year’s budget stands at Rs 618.10 billion.
The devastating earthquake caused damage worth Rs 513.38 billion to physical infrastructure and assets, and inflicted income loss of another Rs 187.08 billion, indicating billions of rupees will have to be spent in the coming years to regain lost opportunities, restore physical assets and improve livelihoods, according to the initial finding of the PDNA.
“The country needs approximately Rs 666.31 billion for brining the country back on track,” Office of the Prime Minister said, adding that bringing the dwindling economy back on track would be a very challenging task since the economy was badly affected by the 7.8-magnitude devastating earthquake that claimed 9,000 lives leaving 22, 000 people injured. The key sectors including industry, agriculture, tourism, health and education have been badly hit.
Submitting the PDNA report to the Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, here today evening, National Planning Commission (NPC) vice chair Dr Govind Raj Pokharel said that the earthquake has hit public and private houses the most. “Tourism, education, agriculture, and health sectors suffer huge losses following the private and public buildings.”
PDNA basically determines the disaster’s damage, loss and the cost to reconstruct the physical infrastructure, including funding needs for restoration of livelihoods, and chart out plans to revive the economy and rehabilitation.
The damage caused to education sector is estimated at Rs 28.06 billion and income loss of around Rs 3.25 billion. Just to ensure resilient recovery of this sector, a sum of around Rs 39.70 billion in required.
Tremors appear to have badly shaken the housing sector, which has suffered damage worth Rs 303.63 billion and income loss – basically from rents – of around Rs 46.75 billion.
Over 505,000 private houses were fully damaged by the tremors and around 279,000 houses have been partially damaged, according to the Home Ministry. Rebuilding of the damages houses and resettlement will require a total of Rs327.76 billion.
Similarly, these households incur income loss of Rs 17 billion, the report stated, adding that the country need to spend at least Rs 12.55 billion to recover the loss.
The devastation has badly hit some of the major sectors like agriculture that generate employment. The agriculture sector, which employs around 60 per cent of working age population, suffered damage worth Rs 16.40 billion and income loss – revenue that could have been generated from sales of output – of Rs 11.96 billion. It will need at least Rs 15.56 billion to make full recovery.
Likewise, tourism sector suffered a damage of around Rs 18.86 billion and income loss of a whopping Rs 62.38 billion, excluding damage and losses suffered by historical monuments. It is estimated cultural heritage sites suffered a damage of Rs 16.91 billion due to earthquake.
The industry and commerce sector sustained damage worth Rs 17.41 billion and income loss of Rs 16.87 billion. The government will need to spend at least Rs 27.40 billion to recover these sectors.
The assessment, which began on May 15, revealed that the temblor and its aftershocks have not only caused damage to infrastructure and assets but also reduced output of productive sectors.
Reconstruction of damaged physical infrastructures has become the most difficult task to the government after two major earthquakes jolted the Himalayan republic on April 25 and May 12, and subsequent aftershocks.
Led by the planning commission, experts from multilateral and bilateral development partners including United Nations, European Union, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency, Japan and India were involved in preparation of the preliminary PDNA report that took three weeks to prepare. The report that has assessed some 23 sectors’ damage, loss and cost to reconstruct damaged infrastructure will be helpful in planning reconstruction, during the international donors’ conference that is going to be held on June 25 in Kathmandu.
It is going to be a major conference seeking to support mobilisation of resources for Nepal’s reconstruction in the aftermath of devastating earthquake and together with its subsequent aftershocks.
Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat is currently in India to invite Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Likewise, the high level participation from northern neighbour China, Japan, the US, the UK and all the development partners is expected.
The government has set a National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) of $2 billion and urged the development partners to contribute to the fund. The government has provided $200 million as the seed money for the fund.
The development partners have so far committed $500 million, according to Foreign Aid Coordination and Cooperation Division under the Finance Ministry. However, the government is going to another international donors’ conference in September in Japan as proposed by Japan government to follow the June conference.