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$44-million WB loan for ASPIRe Project

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  22 Jun 2017 12:00 AM GMT

GUWAHATI, June 21: In a bid to provide fincial succour, the World Bank (Intertiol Bank for Reconstruction and Development) has approved of $44 million loan assistance for the Assam State Public Fince Institutiol Reforms (ASPIRe) Project. The decision for loan approval for providing fincial assistance to the States’ project was taken by the Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank at its meeting held on June 15 at Washington DC, USA. Responding to the World Bank’s decision on providing fincial aid, Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal expressed sincere gratitude towards Prime Minister rendra Modi for supporting this ambitious project and facilitating the approval, stated a press release.

This project aims at improving the predictability and transparency in budget execution in addition to bringing efficiency in tax administration in Assam. All Government departments and functiories mely Fince, Taxation and Excise departments will benefit immensely from this project. In addition, the citizens of Assam will also see transformative benefits accruing to them through efficient processes, better service delivery such as electronic payments and collections for services, transparent public procurement and enhanced tax payer services.

Assam Fince Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma stated that the State Government would dedicate this Rs 283-crore project to the people of Assam and expressed his belief that this project would transform the Public Fince Magement in the State, and citizens would immensely benefit from the ASPIRe Project in terms of transparent, efficient and effective governce. He expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister and also to Union Minister of Fince Arun Jaitley for getting the project approved.

The ASPIRe project is based on three important components that act as pillars for institutiol reforms. The first component focuses on ‘strengthening public fince institutiol capacity’. The second component of the project is ‘strengthening expenditure and revenue information systems’ and the third component on project magement, monitoring and evaluation and coordition has also been included in the project.

However, by the end of this project, the common citizen will be able to access all the budget execution reports and public procurement contracts in public domain. Moreover, one of the objectives of the project is to ensure that a large majority of Non-GST taxes are collected electronically and that citizens will be able to file tax returns for non-GST taxes online. It is also expected that the Excise revenues, which will also be electronically collected, will go up substantially from the existing Rs.800 crore as leakages will be plugged to a large extent.

The ASPIRe Project is of 5-year duration and the expected project completion date is March 31, 2022.

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