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WB approves USD562mn funding for 3 projects in India; along with Rail Logistics Project & U’khand’s Rain-Fed Agriculture

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World Bank approves USD 562 million funding for 3 projects in India

The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank (WB) has approved 5 loans/fundings towards India catering to different sectors. This include three loans totalling USD 562 million/mn (about Rs 4,393.70 crore) to fund an education project in Gujarat, a social protection programme in Tamil Nadu (TN) and a project to help recovery in the fisheries sector post the Covid-19 pandemic.

Following is the list of funding approved by WB:

  1. USD 250mn funding to GOAL, an education project in Gujarat
  2. USD 150mn funding to support the recovery of India’s fisheries sector
  3. USD 162 million for the RIGHTS project in TN
  4. USD 245 million funding to support India’s Rail Logistics project
  5. Rs 1000 crore for Uttarakhand Climate Responsive Rain-fed Farming Project

i.USD 250mn funding to GOAL, an Education Project in Gujarat

The WB approved an Additional Financing (AF) of USD250mn for Gujarat Outcomes for Accelerated Learning (GOAL), a programme which aims to improve education results for children across the state of Gujarat. It should be noted that an original loan for this program is USD 500 million which was approved in March 2021.

Project Details:

Lending Agency– International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) of WB

Maturity– 16 years, including a grace period of 5.5 years

Implementing Agency– Education Department, Government of Gujarat

Key Points:

i.This additional financing will benefit additional 3,000 schools i.e. from 9,000 to 12,000 schools that have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

ii.It is on the lines of WB’s Rapid Response Framework that seeks to reach every child and retain them in schools, assess learning levels regularly, prioritize teaching the fundamentals and increase catch-up learning. It also aims to develop psychosocial health for students and teachers.

iii.The state government had proposed the project which is aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions for funding by the World Bank.

ii.USD 150mn funding to Support the Recovery of India’s Fisheries Sector

The WB also approved a USD 150mn funding to support the recovery of India’s fisheries sector which saw losses of about USD 5.5 billion in 2020-21 and fish production fell almost 40% in one year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Project Details:

Lending Agency– IBRD

Implementing Agency– Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, National Fisheries Development Board

Key Points:

i.This project currently employs about 12 million people directly and another 13 million through associated activities.

ii.It will complement the Government of India’s Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY), which aims to transform the fisheries sector in a sustainable manner by introducing modern practices.

iii.The project will help microenterprises access working capital by connecting them with government schemes.

iii.USD 162mn funding towards RIGHTS projects in TN

The WB also approved USD 162 million for the RIGHTS project to strengthen the social protection systems and capability of TN to promote inclusion, accessibility, and opportunities for persons with disabilities.

  • The funding will support TN in the development of a centralized registry of persons with disabilities, setting up social care service centers, providing mobile outreach of therapy services, improving access to public infrastructure, and identifying training and livelihood opportunities, particularly for women and youth.

Project Details:

Lending Agency– IBRD

Maturity– 24 years, including a grace period of 6 years

Implementing Agency– Department for the Welfare of Differently Abled Persons (DfWDAP)

Key Points:

i.More than 26.8 million people in India and 1.18 million in TN live with some form of disability.

ii.Among persons with disabilities, 45% are illiterate and only about 26.5% have completed secondary education.

About RIGHTS project:

RIGHTS is the first WB-financed operation in the South Asia Region that exclusively focuses on expanding coverage and last-mile delivery of social care services for persons with disabilities, with its innovative approaches to family and community-based care and support, specialized training and access to employment.

iv.USD 245mn loan to modernize India’s Railway Logistics Infrastructure

WB approves USD245mn loan to support India’s efforts to modernize rail freight and logistics infrastructure through Rail Logistics project.

  • This project will help India to shift more traffic from road to rail, making transport for both freight and passenger more efficient and reducing millions of tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) each year.

Project Details:

Lending Agency– IBRD

Maturity– 22 years, including a grace period of 7 years.

Implementing Agency– Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL)

Key Points:

i.The project will strengthen DFCCIL as a commercial organization to provide multimodal logistics services.

ii.It also incentivize more private sector investment in the railway sector.

How will road to rail shift reduce GHG emissions?

Notably, Indian Railways is the 4th largest rail network in the world having transported 1.2 billion tonnes of freight in the fiscal ending March 2020. Yet, 71% of India’s freight is transported by road and only 17% by rail. Also, road freight is the largest contributor to GHG emissions, accounting for about 95% of emissions of the freight sector.

  • On the other hand, Rail emits about one-fifth of trucks’ GHG emissions and with Indian Railways planning to become a net-zero carbon emitter by 2030, it has the potential to eliminate 7.5 million tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases each year.

v.WB approved Project to boost rain-fed agriculture in Uttarakhand

WB has approved the Uttarakhand Climate Responsive Rain-fed Farming Project with an outlay of Rs 1000 crore to introduce modern farming in its 9 hill districts. It will be implemented by the watershed department.

Key Points:

i.Under this project, villagers will be provided different options of farming and livestock rearing so that the border areas and mountains are not hit by climate change.

ii.It will also help in springshed management, boosting agricultural productivity, controlling migration and promoting cluster based agriculture, an official release said.

iii.It will also boost climate friendly activities in the agriculture sector so that it becomes an economically viable option for the youth and farmers.

Recent Related News:

i.WB has approved a loan of USD 125 million (around Rs 1,000 crore) to the government of West Bengal (WB) to support its effort towards social protection service access to the poor and vulnerable groups.

ii.In India, NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog, and WB are setting up a $US300 million first-loss risk-sharing instrument. It will act as a guaranteeing mechanism that banks and NBFCs can access in the event of payment delays on EV loans. The programme is expected to bring down the financing costs for EVs by 10-12%.

About World Bank (WB):

President– David Robert Malpass
Headquarters– Washington DC, United States (US)