Plotting progress

Published: Monday 15 March 2004

-- Relief may be in sight for Nepal's landless people, as the government gets ready to launch its new land reform programme. Under this, the government will purchase tracts and resell them to landless people on an instalment basis. Buyers will be given 15 years to repay the amount at low interest rates. A 'land bank' would be set up to implement the programme efficiently.

During the first phase, the authorities plan to invest about US $17 million on 5,000 to 10,000 hectares of fertile land. They will raise funds from internal as well as international sources. Nepal's finance minister, Prakash Lohini, said that sponsors were responding positively to the scheme. Some donors suggested that the government should take extra precautions to ensure effective implementation of the scheme, he added.

Nepal seems to have based the new programme on Brazil's land distribution scheme. The plan will aim to fulfil commitments made in the country's Tenth plan and Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper.

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