New Delhi: The Government of India, the Government of Uttarakhand and the World Bank signed here today a Loan Agreement of $31.58 million for the Uttarakhand Public Financial Management Strengthening Project that will help improve the State’s ability to manage its Financial Systems and lead to Better Utilization of Development Resources.
The Uttarakhand Public Financial Management Strengthening Project will support the State Government’s initiative to build and modernize the Technical and Financial Management Capabilities of its Local Bodies and theState-owned Enterprises.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance said that the Government of Uttarakhand has worked over the last decade to strengthen its Public Financial Management Systems. He further said that the World Bank supported Project will help the State enhance accountability in public finances and increase effectiveness of revenue management systems in Uttarakhand.
The Loan Agreement was signed by Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Government of India; and Mr. Savin Bansal, I.A.S. Additional Secretary, Finance, Govt. of Uttarakhand on behalf of the Govt of Uttarakhand; and Mr. Shanker Lal, Acting Country Director, World Bank India, on behalf of the World Bank.
Later, speaking on the occasion, Mr. Shanker Lal, Acting Country Director, World Bank said that Uttarakhand has made substantive progress in reducing poverty over the years. This Project will help the State deploy relevant technologies to further streamline the management of its finances – leading to a more efficient execution of public projects. This, in turn, will help the people of Uttarakhand access more and better quality public services.He further said that the Project components will improve capacity in the areas of cash and debt management, planning and budgeting, appraisal and monitoring of high value projects and public audit. It will support measures to improve transparency of Budget and Procurement Information. Using GIS mapping technologies, the Project will also strengthen the state’s revenue management systems, including that of urban local bodies.
The Project will benefit the citizens of Uttarakhand by creating a more transparent and efficient system of management of public finances, including administration of tax and non-tax revenues.
Mr. Krishnamurthy Sankaranarayanan and Mr. Puneet Kapoor, the Task Team Leaders for the Project said that the Uttarakhand Public Financial Management Strengthening Project is part of World Bank’s Public Financial Management Engagements at the State Level, following similar Projects in Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh. It will draw on international experiences and those from other States that will help Uttarakhand in designing and implementing effective solutions. The Project will help Uttarakhand to improve its revenue base for greater availability of resources for its development needs and strengthen its Public Financial Management Systems to enhance accountability of public resources.
The $31.58 Million Loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 5year grace period, and a final maturity of 11 years.