By OUR STAFF REPORTER
Dehradun, 25 Jun: The Union Government, Government of Uttarakhand and the World Bank today signed 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 finances and better utilise funds for development purposes. The project is part of World Bank’s Public Financial Management engagements at the state level, following similar projects in HP, Assam, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. Uttarakhand is the 5th State in the series of Public Finance Management.
The project will support the state government’s initiative to build and modernise the technical and financial management capabilities of its local bodies and state-owned enterprises.
“The Government of Uttarakhand has worked over the last decade to strengthen its public financial management systems,” said Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance. “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 Additional Secretary Sameer Kumar Khare, on behalf of Government of India; Savin Bansal, AS, Finance and DPD, UkPFMS, on behalf of GoUK; and Shankar Lal, Acting Country Director, World Bank India.
“Uttarakhand had made substantive progress and 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 is turn will help the people of Uttarakhand access more and better-quality public services,” said Finance Secretary Amit Singh Negi.
The project components will improve capacity in the areas of cash and debt management, planning and budgeting, appraisal and monitoring of high values 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.
“The project will help Uttarakhand to improve its revenue base for greater availability of resources for its development needs.
The $31.58 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction Development (IBRD), has a 5 years grace period, and a final maturity of 11 years.