Although the fund was created by their own contributions from their savings from the UN Peacekeeping Operations around the conflict areas, Nepal Army’s Welfare Fund has been providing support not only to their family members but to the common people as well.
Nepal Army’s schools and colleges are offering quality education to common Nepalis as well. With savings, Nepal Army has also shown interest to invest in medium scale hydropower projects as well.
Despite increase in investment by Nepal Army's Welfare Fund in various sectors, the profit declined in the fiscal year 2073/074 due to various factors, including fluctuation in bank interest rates and the devastating earthquakes.
Addressing the annual press conference, Nepal Army Spokesperson Brigadier General Jhankar Bahadur Kadayat said that Nepal Army will use its funds for welfare of its own retired and currently serving staff and common people as well.
In the fiscal year 2071/072, the NA had made Rs 3.46 billion profit through investment in various business ventures but by the end of fiscal year 2072/073 the profit was just Rs 2.71 billion, according to NA's Welfare Fund.
Director of Nepal Army Welfare Fund Directorate Brigadier General Pradip Kumar Adhikary presented the annual savings and activities of the Funds in the fiscal year 2073/074.
With its motto welfare and happiness to all, Nepal Army’s Welfare Fund has been launching health, education, economic relief, insurance, family housing and skill training.
Started in 2032 with a capital of Rs. 124 million collected from UN peacekeepers, the fund has now Rs. 34.6 billion, adding Rs. 1.50 billion to last year’s fund. The fund has invested Rs. 4.98 billion and now it has deposit of Rs. 39.55 billion by the end of fiscal year 2073/074.
Brigadier General Pradip Kumar Adhikari, director at NA's Welfare Planning Directorate, said, "There was more saving this year than previous years."
"The Welfare Fund's major sources of income include financial contribution made by NA personnel participating in the United Nations peacekeeping missions; interest from various banks and financial institutions; income from foreign currency exchange; fees and proceeds from academic institutions, medical services and oxygen plants,” Brigadier General Adhikary said during a press conference organized at NA's Headquarters.
Every year, the Welfare Fund is adding money to its coffers from various sources, including profit, but the increment rate has remained consistent despite accumulating assets over the years, raising serious questions over transparency in the management of the fund.
According to NA Welfare Fund, it has Rs 10 million as pension funds, Rs 247 million investments on Sunachari Emulsion Plant, Rs 175 million investments while purchasing land in Chitwan, Rs 43 million on Oxygen plant. Similarly, it has invested Rs 2.14 billion on NA's Institute of Health and Science (NAIHS), Rs 422 million on purchase of land and building homes in Ichangunarayan, Rs 286 million on NA's Welfare Board, Rs 23 million on drinking water plants, Rs 1.03 billion on veteran and civil hospital and Rs 26 million on JP Academy.
The welfare fund has also been operating vocational training institutes affiliated to CTEVT which provide training in fashion designing, computer, driving and cooking. It is also involved in expansion of micro-finance projects, construction of Tri-Chandra Military Hospital (veterans and civil), establishment of nursing and medical colleges and veterans homes for helpless veterans targeting both incumbent and retired NA personnel of all ranks.