$112.56 M W-B credit for Chhattisgarh poverty reduction plan

Monday, 28 April 2003, 07:00 Hrs   |    3 Comments
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NEW DELHI: The World Bank has approved a $112.56 million loan to help India's young state of Chhattisgarh to implement its poverty reduction programmes, expected to benefit thousands of households in the state's rural areas.

The 35-year credit from the World Bank's concessionary lending arm International Development Association (IDA), comes with a 10-year grace period, according to an official release Friday.

Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh in 2000.

The credit will help in the implementation of the Chhattisgarh District Rural Poverty Project to create infrastructure and develop income-generating activities for people in poor, rural communities.

"The project aims to improve opportunities for the poor and vulnerable, especially women and indigenous people, to meet their own social and economic development objectives," said Luis Constantino, a World Bank senior agricultural economist and task leader for the project, in the statement.

Approximately 43 percent of Chhattisgarh's population lives below the poverty line, with conditions of people in scheduled castes and tribal areas being particularly poor. Around 42 percent of the rural population is without access
to electricity, safe drinking water, or sanitation.

The project is designed to support the poverty alleviation strategy of the Chhattisgarh and incorporates lessons learned from three other district rural poverty initiatives under implementation in Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, and is expected to benefit 150,000 households in 2,000 villages.

The project will be implemented by Common Interest Groups (CIGs), which
serve as the central organisation for poor people in project villages.

These can be either existing groups such as self-help groups, saving associations, or groups yet to be formed.

Gram sabhas (village assemblies) will be responsible for identifying the target beneficiaries in each village, while the gram panchayats (village councils) will be responsible for calling and chairing the gram sabha meetings. The zilla panchayat (district councils) will be the central institutions in charge of project implementation in each district.
Source: IANS
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