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West Bengal to receive second tranche of ADB's policy-based program loan


West Bengal to receive second tranche of ADB's policy-based program loan
Representative image Image Credit: ANI

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Asian Development Bank has approved second tranche of USD 150 million (about Rs 1,065 crore) for West Bengal to boost capital investment and infrastructure.
  • It is part of a policy-based program loan of USD 300 million (about Rs 2,130 crore) by ADB for the West Bengal Development Finance Program.
  • The program has made significant achievements toward a structural change in West Bengal, which has placed state finances on a much stronger foundation, an ADB official said.

The Manila-headquartered Asian Development Bank has approved the second tranche of a policy-based program loan USD 150 million (about Rs 1,065 crore) for West Bengal to boost capital investment and infrastructure in the state. Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved the release of USD 150 million for the second part of a program in West Bengal to provide budgetary support for the state government, it said in a release.

The policy-based program loan of USD 300 million (about Rs 2,130 crore) by ADB for the West Bengal Development Finance Program was approved in September 2017. The multi-lateral funding agency said the program intends to boost capital investment and improve infrastructure.

The program comprises two tranches of USD 150 million each to rationalize expenditure through the implementation of voluntary retirement schemes to revive the financial health of public sector enterprises, the introduction of medium-term expenditure frameworks in two departments, and implementation of an integrated tax monitoring system, among others. It also involves improvement in revenue administration with 3D hologram-based logistics system in state excise department and digitalization of property and land records, and facilitate private sector development with support to public-private partnerships in social sector projects.

Tranche 1, with 11 policy actions, was disbursed on December 1, 2017, on full compliance with the 11 actions. For tranche 2, 14 further policy actions were specified, and 13 of these were fully complied with, with one partial compliance, by September 30, 2019, triggering the second tranche, ADB said.

The program has made significant achievements toward a structural change in West Bengal, which has placed state finances on a much stronger foundation, ADB Senior Public Management Economist for South Asia Navendu Karan said. "The envisaged objective of increasing growth-enhancing expenditures while maintaining healthy finances has been achieved," Karan said.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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