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December 17, 2013

World Bank wants Bengal panchayat model for 2 nations

World Bank wants Bengal panchayat model for 2 nations

Impressed by the success story of the panchayati raj system in West Bengal, the World Bank has proposed state panchayat minister, Mr Subrata Mukherjee to be the brand ambassador for Morocco and Egypt so that the model can be replicated in the two countries.

The minister requested the World Bank to write to chief minister Mamata Banerjee for the purpose.

Mr Mukherjee, who had recently attended a World Bank programme, said representatives from Bangaldesh praised the effort of the state government for its performance in implementing institutional strengthening of gram panchyat(ISGP) project.

It was explained to Mr Mukherjee that the political unrest raging in Egypt and Morocco could be tackled if a gram panchyat system was strengthened there. Funds provided by different countries don`t in most cases reach the beneficiaries for whom they are intended in Egypt and Morocco. The panchayati raj system might be the remedy.

Mr Mukherjee said the WB representatives were very pleased with the speed of the panchayat department`s work.

“I have requested the World Bank to include another 1,000 GPs in this project,“ Mukherjee said adding the international financial institution had approved another project of around Rs 1,500 crore for implementing a drinking water project in the state.

In 2010, the state government had signed a loan agreement worth US $ 200 million, amounting to Rs 920 crore, with the World Bank for a project on institutional strengthening of gram panchayats, enabling them to improve service. Overall, the project has made significant progress in the past two years and three months of implementation.

Performance of gram panchayats has improved substantially on annual plan preparation, financial management including audit, accounting and financial reporting, absorption capacity of untied grants, project execution and service delivery and ensuring participation, transparency and disclosure of information,  Mr Mukherjee said.