World Bank nod for $ 200 million Himachal environment policy program

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.

“The loan repayment would be over a 30 year period and would carry a nominal interest of of 1 percent,” said Roy.

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1 Comment

  1. says: dinesh

    I think it’s high time the Indian elite in the govt. and outside realize the fallacy & danger of loans for funding projects. Where has the old ideal of living within means gone ? I think it’s not fashionable any more to do that.

    It is a shame that India got so addicted to debt, in the form of foreign aid, loans etc. It’s also a shame that of all the states, HP as one of the prosperous states is party to this ill fated strategy.

    I would encourage responsible citizens and interested people to write to their MPs about two things that concern all of us and which are relatively easier to solve more than other things 1- Reducing population 2- Reducing reliance on debt.

    Overpopulation leads to too many issues – environmental degradation, poverty, conflict, disease etc. It’s something completely in the hands of people and policy makers, same with debt. It’s also a shame to be ranked as a forever-debt-taking country !

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