World Bank approves Rs 1000 cr loan to help people get Bengal govt services

New Delhi, Jan 22 (PTI): The World Bank has approved a loan of around Rs 1,000 crore to the West Bengal government primarily to support its effort to help the poor and vulnerable groups access its social protection services.

According to a statement released by the state government on Saturday, the loan will help the administration improve services such as medical help through telemedicine, support for the elderly and differently-abled, financial inclusion of citizens with digital payments and disbursement of benefits for public schemes.

“The World Bank on January 19 has sanctioned a $125 million (about Rs 1,000 crore) loan to the government of West Bengal to support the state’s effort to help the poor and vulnerable groups access social protection services,” the statement read.

The loan under the ‘West Bengal Building State Capability for Inclusive Social Protection’ operation will strengthen the capability of this state to expand coverage and access to social assistance and targeted service for poor and vulnerable groups, it said.

When contacted, a top official of the West Bengal government said, “This loan will strengthen the state’s capability to expand its coverage and reach out to the thousands of poor people with its welfare programmes.” The Mamata Banerjee government runs over 400 programmes that provide social assistance, protection, care services and jobs, the statement said.