World Bank approves $150 million loan for Punjab to improve state's finances, service delivery
The USD 150 million loans have a maturity of 15 years including a grace period of 6 months
Washington: The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a loan of USD 150 million to the Indian state of Punjab to help the state better manage its financial resources and improve access to public services.
The international financial institution, in a statement, said it would support the state’s efforts to strengthen the institutional capabilities of various government departments, manage fiscal risks and make informed policy choices to support sustainable growth.
“Punjab’s growth has been below potential. A combination of fiscal challenges and institutional capacity constraints means that scarce resources are spread thin across development priorities,” the statement added.
The new projects will support the state’s development goals by strengthening the planning, budgeting and monitoring functions, and leveraging digital technology, besides increasing accountability in the public procurement systems by supporting the state-wide implementation of new legal and policy reforms.
“The World Bank is pleased to be a partner of the state of Punjab in the state’s effort to deliver timely, cost-effective and good-quality public services, which is critical for inclusive development,” Auguste Tano Kouame, the World Bank’s Country Director in India, was quoted in the statement.
“This new project will support the implementation of the state’s new data policy, which aims to bring together various social protection initiatives and reduce potential leakages while delivering essential services,” Kouame added.
The project will pilot two initiatives:
It will introduce a performance-based grants system to incentivize municipal corporations to improve service delivery.
Second, it will demonstrate the delivery of a 24×7 water supply in select areas in the cities of Amritsar and Ludhiana. It will improve water delivery systems and reduce water leakages. The success of these pilots is expected to offer significant potential for the state-wide scale-up of improved service delivery.
“The project is using a ‘whole-of-government’ approach which will ensure that various departments in the Punjab state government are linked so as to enhance their efficiency in managing public resources. Performance linked inter-governmental fiscal transfers will incentivize improved management of cities and service delivery to citizens,” said Dhruv Sharma and Bhavna Bhatia, World Bank Task Team Leaders of the project.
The USD 150 million loans have a maturity of 15 years including a grace period of 6 months, the statement added.
Vijay Hazare Trophy: Karnataka defeat Punjab in thriller to setup semi-final clash against Saurashtra
Vidwath Kaverappa’s career-best haul of 4/40 played a key role in bowling Punjab out for 235 before Manoj Bhandage and Krishnappa Gowtham helped Karnataka chase the target down with four balls to spare.
Kulwinderjit Singh alias "Khanpuria", who had been associated with terrorist outfits such as the Babbar Khalsa International and the Khalistan Liberation Force, was arrested at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on Friday soon after he arrived from Bangkok, said an NIA official.
Addressing a press conference in Surat, AAP national convener Kejriwal said his predictions for the Delhi and Punjab Assembly elections came true, and the same will happen in Gujarat as well