Dec 2, 2015- Finance Minister Bishnu Poudel on Tuesday asked secretaries of various ministries to submit action plans with activities and timeline for the programmes announced through the ministry’s White Paper.
The document, unveiled by the ministry a week ago, has announced various programmes focussing on fuel supply, energy security, food security, easing businesses and reconstruction works to pull the country out of the current economic mess and leading it towards self-reliance.
Although the ministry has already called for the submission of action plans to implement the programmes mentioned in the White Paper, the minister asked the concerned ministries to prepare the plans and implement them effectively, at a meeting with the secretaries on Tuesday.
“Minister Poudel asked the secretaries to put extra efforts as the country is facing extra-ordinary situation,” said Ram Sharan Pudasaini, spokesperson for the Finance Ministry.
According to him, various ministries have started sending their action plans and the Finance Ministry expects to prepare a “consolidated action plan” after gathering all the information. The government’s main priority has been to ensure smooth supply of fuel and other essentials. The White Paper has not come up with a specific measure when it comes to fuel supply which according to officials will come in the action plan.
The document is silent on the proposed commercial import of petroleum products from China for which a government team had gone to Beijing. While the paper mentions about several measures on easing fuel supply, such as taking action against black marketeers, making available firewood and kerosene, but without a clear plan on implementing them.
With regard to energy security, the government decided to declare “Energy Emergency” in the country to facilitate the acceleration of energy projects, including issuing bonds to raise funds for the purpose. On reconstruction, the first instalment of proposed assistance of Rs200,000 will be distributed immediately to victims of the April 25 earthquake.
People, whose houses have been destroyed in the disaster, will get a loan up to Rs300,000 loan without collateral. With the winter season starting, the Finance Minister said that the government would provide Rs10,000 for each quake-affected family to purchase warm garments within mid-December.
During Tuesday’s meeting, the secretaries presented progress report on reconstruction efforts.
“Many secretaries said that they have sent their programmes to National Planning Commission for approval and some have already been approved,” said Pudasaini.
Published on: The Kathmandu Post (December 02, 2015)