DUSHANBE, May 17, 2009 -— The World Bank and the Government of Tajikistan have completed today the appraisal of and negotiated the provision by the World Bank of a grant amounting to USD 25.4 million to the Republic of Tajikistan as direct support to the Tajikistan’s state budget.
The Fourth Programmatic Development Policy Grant supports a set of policy reforms to protect the delivery of essential social services, further develop private sector and strengthen government effectiveness.
Among the most important policy reforms and measures undertaken by the government under the Program the following could be highlighted:
In the area of delivering social services the Bank supported government’s efforts to maintain social expenditures in health, education and social protection of no less than the level of 2009, and at the level of 6.1%, 17.8% and 20% of the budget accordingly. These commitments of the government have been reflected in the Budget Law, approved by the Parliament in November 2009.
In the area of private sector development, the Bank supported government’s efforts to reduce the burden of regulations on business, strengthen financial sector performance, modernize aviation sector as well as reform institutions in agriculture. Specifically, the government has reduced, through government’s decree the number of permits from over 500 to 91; the Government and the National bank of Tajikistan issued Decrees approving financial sector strategy and an Action Plan with a time-bound measures to be implemented by relevant stakeholders. In addition to this, the Government has approved its national Aviation Strategy and an Action Plan through the Government Decree to further liberalize and improve aviation sector. Finally, the Government has completed the issuance of cotton debt certificates totaling over US$ 420 mln. freeing farmers from debts as per; and the Government continued with the issuance of land-use certificates with over 10,000 certificates issued to date.
The Fourth Policy Grant, is a first in a series of three operations, is closely aligned with investment and technical assistance programs of the World Bank and other development partners in related areas and is scheduled to be presented to the Board of the World Bank on June 24, 2010 and released shortly after upon satisfactory completion of effectiveness procedures. The grants are provided by the World Bank Group’s International Development Association (IDA). The resources are critical to support Tajikistan’s efforts to promote growth, improve governance, and reduce poverty.