DEA lauds J&K Govt for successful implementation of World Bank-funded projects

Srinagar: The Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Union Ministry of Finance, Government of India, praised Jammu and Kashmir Government for the successful implementation of World Bank-funded projects under ‘Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project’ (JTFRP).
The DEA has recorded praise for the project implementation in the minutes during the Tripartite Portfolio Review Meeting (TPRM) between DEA, World Bank, and the Project Authority.
During the review meeting, the DEA noted the improvement in the project implementation after the restructuring of the project in June this year. It was observed that most of the vital developmental works have resumed post-COVID-19 lockdown. The meeting also observed that there is now weekly monitoring of the project with a weekly update of the Management Information System (MIS).
The meeting further lauded the JTFRP for augmenting the social safeguard during the project. Notably, the DEA during TPRM held on June, 16, 2020 had confirmed a one year extension to the project closing date till June 31, 2021. It was also recorded in the meeting that there has been tremendous progress in the project in the last one year and it should be maintained. According to the meeting an amount of 50 million USD has been allocated to the CERC component.
“We have gone ahead of the previous disbursement targets set by the DEA,” said Chief Executive Officer, JKERA Dr. Syed Abid Rasheed Shah. He said that his team would continue to give their best in every possible way to complete the vital developmental projects works on the component of strengthening and restoration of livelihood and the component of the strengthening of the critical infrastructure of the World Bank-funded Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project.
“The new disbursement target will be met well in advance due to big improvements in the implementation of the project,” the CEO assured.
The TPRM of World Bank assisted Projects held during 22-24 September, 2020 under the chairmanship of Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary (FB&ADB), DEA, Ministry of Finance, for information and necessary action. The TPRM, which reviewed the progress of various projects funded by the World Bank across the country was attended by the senior officers of the DEA (Department of Economic Affairs) Ministry of Finance, Govt of India, World Bank and senior officers of various EA’s (Executing Agencies). The meeting expressed immense satisfaction over the marked improvement in the implementation of the World Bank funded USD 250 million Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project in Jammu and Kashmir.
Earlier the meeting noted that disbursement has to improve in the next 5 to 6 months. It was unanimously agreed during the meeting that Jammu and Kashmir Government is directed to achieve a disbursement target of USD 40.00 million in the Bank’s financial year 2021.
The J&K ERA is a special purpose vehicle for the implementation of externally aided projects in J&K.
Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project funded by the World Bank has 7 components which include the components including Reconstruction and strengthening of the Critical Infrastructure, Reconstruction of the roads and bridges, Restoration of the Urban Flood Management System, Restoration and strengthening of the Livelihoods, Strengthening of the Disaster Risk Management System, Contingency Emergency Response for Covid -19 and Implementation Support.
Pertinently in the last quarter of July- September the appreciable progress has been made under the project with 96.41%, 86.52%,100%,78.30% and 55.15% sub-projects awarded under the component,1,2,3,4 and 5 respectively (having a cumulative cost of 173.13 million USD) while as for the component 6 the JKMSCL which is project implementation unit for the project has been asked to expedite the procurement process for the various critical health care equipments which are to be procured under the component 6 of JTFRP to fortify the critical health care equipment’s requirements in J&K .
The TPRM meeting which was conducted via virtual mode was attended by Dr. Syed Abid Rasheed Shah, Chief Executive Officer, JKERA/JTFRP and also other senior officers of Project Management Unit (PMU), JTFRP and JKERA.
It may be recalled that the ‘Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project’ (JTFRP) as a project (unit) was integrated with the J&K Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA). The Jammu and Kashmir Government had authorized ERA to make such consequential changes in the processes or structures as may be necessitated by the integration and also enter into any correspondence or discussions with the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) of the Union Ministry of Finance and the World Bank, as may be required. In the aftermath of the devastating floods of September 2014, the JTFRP was sanctioned by the World Bank for USD 250 million. The society (J&K ERA) was constituted as a special purpose vehicle for the implementation of externally aided projects within the territorial limits of J&K as its operational areas.
The J&K ERA has acquired the requisite expertise in the procedures and guidelines followed in the case of externally funded projects and would ensure a seamless and quick execution process. “In this process, the constraints and institutional bottlenecks hampering the accelerated pace of execution were immediately plugged.”