Shimla: The World Bank has in principal agreed to fund US $ 200 million (Rs 900 Cr) Environmentally Sustainable Development Policy Program (ESDPL) to meet challenges faced by HImachal’s economic growth in four sectors which include, agriculture which includes horticulture, hydro power, industries and tourism, top Himachal government officials here disclosed.
The in principal agreement came about after detailed parleys between senior government officials led by chief secretary Rajwant Sandhu and a World Band team led by Herbert Acquay, Chief South Asia, World Bank Office Washington and Sonia Chand Sandhum senior environment specialist with the bank, said Nagin Nanda, director environment, science & technology.
The program intended to support policies and institutional reforms that would enhance sustainability in the four sectors is expected to be signed by September, 2011.
Speaking about the ESDPL program, chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said that it would support the states long term commitment to address environment sustainability and climate change on development in ecologically fragile mountain ecosystems.
Sudripta Roy, additional chief secretary environment Himachal government said that the three year program would have strict bench marks that would be regularly monitored by World Bank officials as well as independent evaluators.
Only if the states policy initiatives match the bench marks of the environmentally sustainable development program the only the loan would be available.
â€œThe loan repayment would be over a 30 year period and would carry a nominal interest of of 1 percent,â€ said Roy.