NEW DELHI, June 25, 2019 – The Government of India, the 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 utilize funds for development purposes. The 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.
The project will support the state government’s initiative to build and modernize 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 Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Government of India; Savin Bansal, Additional Secretary, Finance Department and Deputy Project Director, on behalf of the Government of Uttarakhand; and Shanker Lal, Acting Country Director, World Bank India, on behalf of the World Bank
“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,” said Junaid Kamal Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank India.
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.
“The project will help Uttarakhand to improve its revenue base for greater availability of resources for its development needs. It will draw on experiences from states such as Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh that will help Uttarakhand in designing and implementing effective solutions,” said Krishnamurthy Sankaranarayanan and Puneet Kapoor, the task team leaders for the project.
The $31.58 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 5 years grace period, and a final maturity of 11 years.