Manila: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $50 million policy-based loan to improve operational efficiencies and resource planning and management in India’s eastern state of West Bengal.
The loan will support the integration of financial and information systems and the expansion of automation reforms in the operations of the state government, which are expected to strengthen the delivery of public services and create fiscal savings.
“This program supports the Government of India’s objective of making public services more accessible through interoperable eGovernment platforms,” said ADB Senior Public Management Economist for South Asia Navendu Karan. “It will help improve the management of social protection benefits such as pensions and provident funds, e-payment facilities for tax payment and revenue collection, and information management and service delivery, among others.”
The loan builds on past ADB policy-based programs in 2012 and 2017, supporting the Government of West Bengal on sustainable public financial management reforms. These programs helped develop and implement an integrated financial management system (IFMS), established successful eGovernance systems for improved revenue administration, undertook measures for expenditure rationalization, and promoted the private sector’s involvement in service delivery.
The loan will be supplemented by a $350,000 technical assistance grant for capacity building, monitoring of IFMS reforms, and strengthening the integration of social and gender aspects in reform areas.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.