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ADB, India sign $50 million loan to boost West Bengal’s digital platforms for public finance reforms

3rd December, 2020 Economy

Context: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $50 million policy-based loan to improve financial management procedures and operational efficiencies aimed at achieving more fiscal savings, promote informed decision making, and improve service delivery in the state of West Bengal.

  • Integration of the state’s financial and information systems through the programme’s whole-of-government approach will help improve delivery of public services and generate fiscal savings that could help the state augment growth-enhancing development financing.
  • Through support to interoperable e-Government platforms, the programme will ensure streamlining of social protection benefits such as pension and provident fund, facilitate gender-disaggregated data, tax payments, and revenue collection.
  • Development projects could be better tracked and monitored with the help of a new module within the integrated financial management system (IFMS) leading to improved project management.
  • A centre for fiscal policy and public finance will be established to deepen capacity of the state government officials on public finance management while developing a web-based grievance redress system for transport corporations and urban local bodies will provide a credible citizen-government interface.
  • The loan is proposed to be supplemented by a $350,000 technical assistance grant for capacity building, monitoring of IFMS reforms, and strengthening the integration of social and gender aspects in reform areas.

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a regional development bank established on 19 December 1966, which is headquartered in Philippines.
  • ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.
  • The bank admits the members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP, formerly the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East or ECAFE) and non-regional developed countries.
  • The ADB was modeled closely on the World Bank, and has a similar weighted voting system where votes are distributed in proportion with members' capital subscriptions.