Bengal Govt gets $ 300 mn financial assistance from ADB for further fiscal reforms
Kolkata, Sept 25 (KNN) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has decided to give financial assistance of 300 million US dollars (USD) to West Bengal in order to carry forward further reforms, All India Trinamool Congress has said.
According to a press release by the ADB, the board of the bank approved the assistance to continue a comprehensive series of fiscal reforms in West Bengal to bring about more accessible, affordable, and high quality public services.
Bengal, for the first time in 2012, had received a 400 million USD from ADB – its first policy based lending – with an aim to create the fiscal space necessary to sustain a higher public investment.
According to a senior ADB official, the Bengal government’s partnership with the ADB has been a successful one. Public investment as a percentage of gross state domestic product reached almost 1.3 per cent in 2015-16 from 0.5 per cent in 2011-12, while, during the same period, fiscal deficit reduced to 2.2 per cent from 3.4 per cent, as per ADB.
Under the newly-announced financial assistance programme, to be carried out over two years, linking medium term expenditure plans to actual budgets supported by strengthening internal audit system and enhancements in the integrated financial management system (IFMS) will be carried out.
Other activities include improved tax monitoring and continued support for information technology (IT) systems in strengthening tax and land administration.
The capital outlay as a percentage of gross state domestic product is expected to rise to 2.2 per cent by 2021- 22 under this new programme, with improved budget allocations geared toward development expenditure.
Accompanying the 300 million USD assistance, is a technical assistance grant of 500,000 USD to strengthen key institutions responsible for carrying out fiscal management reforms in the state.