Gorkhatimes

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ADB nod to $100m for Mizoram

Posted by Ramesh Khati on August 19, 2009

Guwahati, Aug. 18(The telegraph): The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today approved a $100 million (around Rs 487 crore) loan for the Mizoram Public Resource Management Programme designed to improve the state government’s finances.

A communiqué issued by the ADB said the programme aims to help the state government raise additional revenue from tax and non-tax sources, and improve debt management. It also focuses on strengthening service delivery in the education and health sectors.

The communiqué quoting Ashok Sharma, director of financial sector, public management and trade division of the ADB’s South Asia department, said Mizoram has demonstrated strong political commitment to undertake financial reforms and the bank was pleased to support these efforts.

The reforms will support, among other things, improvements to the state health insurance scheme by targeting more efficient service in a cost-effective manner. Revamping the state’s costly pension scheme is another priority, while the programme will seek to overhaul loss-making public sector enterprises, with downsizing or closure not excluded among the options.

The bank said given that Mizoram is only the second state in the Northeast that has committed to make strong fiscal reforms, the programme has high relevance.

The Centre has given top priority to economic and social development of the states of the Northeast and this programme helps to contribute to that process.

The communiqué also said funds would also be allocated for a voluntary retirement scheme for teachers in primary and secondary schools as part of ongoing efforts to improve the education sector.

The programme will conclude in July 2012 and the state’s finance department will be the executing agency.

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