Keep in mind nationality while accepting foreign aid, House panel cautions govt

Kathmandu, June 2: The International Relations and Labour Committee under the Legislature-Parliament has directed the government to mobilize assistance in the donors conference that it is convening on June 25 being mindful of the country's independence and prestige.

A majority of the lawmakers who spoke in the meeting of the committee today voiced this, drawing the attention of the government to seek only the appropriate assistance from the donor countries without compromising the national prestige projecting the country as a 'beggar'.  

The committee, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also directed the embassies of Nepal in foreign countries to carry out works paying attention to the nation's dignity while collecting relief from the related countries and the international organisations. 

In today's meeting of the committee, lawmakers drew the attention of the ministers towards the improper and disproportional distribution of relief and the relief still not reaching the needy people in the remote areas.

They demanded that though the required support is sought from the international community, the assistance received thus should be distributed under the leadership of the government alone.

Committee president Prabhu Saha said the meeting also asked the government to formulate a concrete plan ensuring reasonable distribution of the assistance received from the international donors in a transparent manner.

Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bamdev Gautam, Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat and Minister for Foreign Affairs Mahendra Bahadur Pandey who participated in the meeting as invitees presented details of the relief, rescue and reconstruction works carried out by the government.

Govt, successful in rescue and relief operations: DPM Gautam

Speaking in the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Bamdev Gautam said that the government was successful in the rescue and relief works. He added that some people were blaming that the government did nothing but the Army, Police and Red Cross did excellent job in that connection and that was only an illusionary perspective. 

 DPM Gautam further said that Police and Army themselves are the part of the government, does government mean ministers only, he questioned.

 DPM Gautam accepted that there might have been some insufficiency in rescue and relief operations but the government did it successfully as per its capacity.

 Even developed countries to be said to sound in everything, also could not do immediate operations as per their saying and wish in such disasters, Gautam claimed.

 Similarly, DPM Gautam claimed that the relief amount Rs 15,000 to be provided to the quake victims whose houses were damaged have been reached all affected districts.

 Now, phase of reconstruction: Finance Minister Mahat

Similarly, Minister for Finance Dr Ram Sharan Mahat said it was a phase of reconstruction as rescue and relief phases were completed and National Planning Commission (NPC) was preparing proposal for the purpose.

He further added NPC would prepare a detail reconstruction proposal within the week and with slight modification it would be submitted in the assembly of international donors scheduled to be held for June 25.

Minister Mahat added that the government was successful in managing the post quake trauma as none has died after not getting food and treatment as  the government has arranged free of cost treatment and other facilities to the quake victims.

He expressed commitment to go ahead with correction if any insufficiency occurred during the relief and other operations. 

UN Secretary General and foreign ministers of donor countries to be invited

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mahendra Bahadur Pandey, has said that the ministry is to send invitation to Secretary General of the United Nation, Ban Ki-moon to ministers concerned of donor countries for their participation in the conference of international donors scheduled on June 25. 

Minister Pandey further said that the ministry has been making necessary preparation to invite ministers of donor countries as it would be easy for the support at least ministers of donor counties participate in it.

He said that a total of 4,521 foreign rescue members from 34 countries arrived here after the quake. Of them, some members of India, Canada and US are still here while members of other countries have already returned home.

Ninety-nine members from India, a team of 30 engineers from Canada and a 10-member from American team, which is here to carry out study regarding American aircraft crash, are still here, added Minister Pandey.

The Foreign Minister said the Indian team has informed the Ministry that it would leave here on June 10 and the Canadian would complete its work on June 5.

Minister Pandey further said that the Ministry has been making preparation to ask help of China, India, US and Japan for equipments required to dismantle the damaged houses as Nepali police personnel failed to dismantle 2,000 houses for lack of means and resources.

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