World Bank to provide Rs.1,000 crore loan to West Bengal

July 15th, 2010 - 9:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, July 15 (IANS) The World Bank will provide a soft loan of Rs.1,000 crore to the West Bengal government for strengthening the state’s panchayat system.
A memorandum of understanding in this regard was signed by the representatives of the central government, state government and the World Bank at the state secretariat here Thursday.

The panchayat and rural development department will avail the funds under a project called “Institutional Strengthening of Gram Panchayats”.

The department will select 1,000 gram panchayats in nine backward districts which would be provided Rs.one crore each for capacity building and providing special facilities to villagers.

“Of the Rs. one crore to be given to each gram panchayat, Rs.20 lakh would be spent on capacity building - imparting training to panchayat members to enable them to conceive and execute rural welfare projects,” said panchayat and rural development minister Anisur Rahaman.

As per the deal, the state government will not have to repay the loan for the first ten years. For the next 30 years, the loan has to be paid back in instalments with one percent surcharge, a senior government official said.

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