KATHMANDU, Sept 11: A high-level government body formed to manage the task of distributing identity cards (IDs) to the poor will conduct surveys in 25 districts, such as Achham, Kailali, Mugu and Jajarkot in the first phase to identify poor households.
The study, being carried out by the Poor Household Identification and ID Card Management and Distribution Coordination Board, will formally begin on Sept 17 when the Board will start setting up offices in identified districts.
Other districts that will be covered by the survey include Rolpa, Kapilvastu, Gorkha, Rautahat, Bhojpur, Bajhang, Jumla, Dolpa, Bardiya, Puthyan, Tanahu, Ramechhap, Siraha, Bajura, Humla, Kalikot, Rukum, Arghakhachi, Baglung, Sindhuli and Khotang.
The government has set a target of distributing ID cards to poor households in these districts within the next four months, following which surveys will be conducted in other districts.
"We have already devised a mechanism which will be deployed in central to district and village development committee (VDC) levels to identify poor households," Janak Raj Joshi, vice-chairperson of the Poverty Alleviation Fund (PAF), who is also the chairman of the Board, told mediapersons on Tuesday. The ID cards will be distributed after processing and verifying the data collected during the survey.
According to Joshi, poor households that will get ID cards will be categorized into groups of ´A´, ´B´ and ´C´. "Poor households that can manage to sustain with their production for nine months will be included in category ´A´, those who can manage for six months will classified as category ´B´ and those that can manage with their production for only three months will be placed in category ´C´," Joshi said.
The government hopes the distribution of ID cards will be a base to design programs for the poor and ensure such programs reach targeted groups. The Board, however, will reserve the exclusive right over distribution of the card to any household.
"The ID card will be distributed depending on the information compiled by the team conducting the survey," Joshi said. "But those unhappy with any survey team´s decision can file complaints at district-level committees."
Currently, the government has categorized any individual earning less than Rs 19,345 per year as the poor.