Nepal offers cash aid to Covid-affected families


Kathmandu, Nov 12 : The Nepal government has encouraged eligible families belonging to poor households affected by the Covid-19 pandemic to apply for cash grants as part of a relief scheme announced earlier this year. Under the relief plan included in the budget for the current 2021-22 fiscal year starting in mid-July, the government will distribute 10,000 NPR ($84) in one-off subsidy to each eligible family, which is the first time since the onset of the pandemic early last year, reports Xinhua news agency. A total of 500,000 families will benefit from the government's scheme at a cost of 5 billion NPR. As per the notice issued by the Ministry of Finance, workers unemployed after losing jobs amid the pandemic, daily wage earners, agricultural laboUrers, rickshaw pullers, tourism-related porters and families losing sole breadwinners, among others, can apply for the government's support at ward offices within 15 days. "We want the ward offices to select the eligible poor families based on the criteria of the guidelines," Ritesh Kumar Shakya, spokesperson for the ministry, told Xinhua. "Once the eligible beneficiaries are selected, local governments will deposit 10,000 Nepali rupees in the account of each beneficiary," he added. More than 700,000 people alone lost their jobs due to the first wave of the pandemic, according to a study by the National Planning Commission. /IANS


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