Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Round Table on "World Bank Group in Bihar"

Round Table on "World Bank Group in Bihar"

This is an effort to initiate the process of critically examining the impact of Bank's investments in Bihar.

Recently, World Bank Group and Bihar government have signed a new agreement for the Bihar Kosi Recovery Project, worth $220 million, which aims to support flood recovery efforts, reduce risks from flooding, and boost emergency responses in the event of future disasters. The project falls under the theme Natural disaster management.

The new project aims to help Bihar’s flood-affected people by supporting the reconstruction of about 100,000 houses, and the rebuilding of 90 bridges and 290 kilometers of rural roads. Of the total cost of $259 million, Government of Bihar would contribute $39 million for the project. The documents were signed on January 12, 2011. The project was approved in September 2010 and it will close in 2014.

The credit is from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest, which is providing an interest-free loan with 35 years maturity and a 10-year grace period.

The Bank is also assisting the state government with technical assistance through a grant from DFID for the Bihar Flood Management Implementation Support Project–II, which seeks to strengthen the institutional framework for flood management and to improve flood warning and preparedness for people living in the affected areas of Bihar.

Bihar is also a priority state for the World Bank Group’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC). IFC’s work with the state includes the design and implementation of a tax reform program to save cost, time and enhance ease of paying taxes for small and large businesses. Although IFC normally works with private sector companies, it is providing advisory services to Bihar government.

Earlier, the Bank had published a report "Bihar: Towards a Development Strategy" in 2005. The Bank’s support to Bihar began in the mid-2000s.
Dr D K Mishra, a well known river basin expert will share his insights into Bank's investments in Bihar and the responses from civil society and political groups. The meeting is held at a very short notice because we wished to benefit from Dr Mishra's presence in Delhi for a meeting of a Planning Commission's committee.

The participants presence and submissions on the subject will enable us to comprehend World Bank Group's monetary and non-monetary role in Bihar.

Date: 20 January, 2011
Time: 6 PM
Venue: INSAF Office, Opposite Indian Statistical Institute
124-A/6, First Floor, Katwaria Sarai, New Delhi

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