World Bank Technical Mission concludes J&K visit

Rohit Kansal chairs wrap-up meeting; Presses for timely, tangible progress on WB-funded Rs 1500 cr projects

Jammu, Dec 20: Principal Secretary, Planning Development & Monitoring, Rohit Kansal today called for expeditious implementation of World Bank-funded projects to ensure timely and productive utilization of resources for addressing infrastructure gaps in key sectors.
“The Project Implementing Units (PIUs) should in coordination with the Project Management Unit (PMU) expedite project formulation, award of contracts and execution of works to meet the time-lines,” Kansal said while chairing the wrap-up meeting with the visiting World Bank Technical Mission Team, which concluded its 3-Day visit to J&K today.
The World Bank Technical Mission Team headed by Deepak Singh, Lead Disaster Risk Management Specialist comprised, Hemant Karelia, Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist, Heena Doshi, Senior Procurement Specialist and Manzoor Khan, Operations Specialist.
CEO ERA,Dr Raghav Langer, Managing Director, JKPCC, M Raju, Director General, Perspective Planning, Shahzada Bilal, Chief Engineers and other concerned officers were also present at the meeting.
The meeting was informed that the World Bank has in 2016 sanctioned a loan of Rs 1500 crore for infrastructure upgradation in Health, Housing & Urban Development, Education, Industries, Disaster Management and Road Connectivity sectors in J&K.
To expedite implementation of World Bank and other externally funded projects, the Governor’s Administration in a significant decision last month approved merger of Jhelum-Tawi Flood Recovery Project with Economic Reconstruction Agency to channelize multilateral funding through a single route and ensure better coordination under the overall administrative control of Planning, Development & Monitoring Department.
Sharing their views on the basis of the field visits and interactions at various levels during their ongoing visit to the State, the World Bank team stressed the urgency of expediting project formulation and submission, building capacities of the executing agencies and addressing bottlenecks at various levels.
The World Bank team assured to look positively into the issue of modifying qualification criteria to enable the local bidders to participate in the execution of projects.
The team informed that the World Bank will be inviting officers from PIUs in J&K to interact with the Bank executives in its New Delhi office so that they are abreast with the project formulation procedures.
The Principal Secretary Planning informed the team that there has been significant movement forward on the implementation of projects due to better coordination since the merger of JTFR Project with ERA and PIUs and PMU has been asked to further expedite the process to meet the targets.