Kolkata: The World Bank has approved a $125m (about Rs 1,000 crore) loan to the government of West Bengal for inclusive social protection in what appears to be a major acknowledgment of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s social pension schemes for groups vulnerable in society.
On Saturday, the state government said: “The foresight of the Honorable Chief Minister of West Bengal, Smt. The World On January 19, the Bank, in recognition of these efforts by the state government, extended a loan of $125 million (approximately Rs 1,000 crore) to the government of West Bengal to support the efforts government to help poor and vulnerable groups access social protection services.
He added, “The World Bank statement says that West Bengal runs more than 400 programs that provide social assistance, protection, care services and jobs through an umbrella platform ‘Joy Bangla’, the system unified state delivery program focused on vulnerable groups such as women, the elderly, tribal and scheduled castes, people with disabilities and those from disaster-prone coastal regions.The unique “Duare Sarkar” program has been in The ability to ensure improved and faster identification of beneficiaries, delivering services to citizens’ doorsteps and monitoring benefit delivery will receive a boost under this World Bank-assisted social protection scheme.”
The loan under the West Bengal Building State Capability for Inclusive Social Protection operation will strengthen the State’s capacity to expand coverage and access to social assistance and targeted services for poor and vulnerable groups in the state. This program supported by the World Bank will help the State to facilitate citizens’ access to social protection services; medical assistance by telemedicine; improved support for older people and people with disabilities; the financial inclusion of citizens with digital payments; improved targeting, identification and delivery of benefits for public schemes; effective implementation and monitoring of social protection programs; standardized recipient experience across the state for all social and public services and benefits and improved efficiency, transparency and accountability in the delivery of social services and benefits.
According to the state government, the loan will give further impetus to its ongoing efforts to provide social security to vulnerable sections of the population in the most efficient and transparent manner.