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Rs 1500 Cr WB project in J&K: Multilateral financial institution says its implementation, progress remains ‘moderately unsatisfactory

Rs 1500 Cr WB project in J&K:  Multilateral financial institution says its implementation, progress remains ‘moderately unsatisfactory
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Nasir Azam

Srinagar, Sep 09 (KNO): The implementation process of the Rs 1500 crore World Bank project in Jammu & Kashmir remains “moderately unsatisfactory” due to significant lag in financial and physical progress, a document reveals.

According to the WB’s document on restructuring of the project, a copy of which lies with the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the ratings for achievement of Project Development Objective and implementation progress has remain moderately unsatisfactory due to significant lag in financial and physical progress.

“Despite the challenging operating context, the project has incrementally improved its performance over last two years and has now obtained commitments equal to $180 million, or 72 percent of the Credit, and has disbursed $21.15 million (8.46%), of which $15.1 million in past 12 months. Fiduciary, Safeguards and Project Management performances have been rated moderately Satisfactory and there are no outstanding audit requirements,” then document available with the KNO, reads.

The project was sanctioned in 2015 by the World Bank after devastating floods hit the State. The Project focuses on reconstruction and recovery of infrastructure and livelihoods; and strengthening disaster risk management capacities of the state.

As per the document, the Project operates in a very complex political and security environment.

“Initially the Project also faced challenges of frequent leadership changes and staff turnover in project management and implementing agencies. This being the only World Bank operation in the Project area over past two decades, the implementing agencies’ lack of familiarity with Bank financed projects added to implementation delays,” it reads.

The document claims that “weak contractor presence, capacity and participation continued to add delays in concluding procurement activities”.

“These cascading challenges led to effectiveness lag of 11 months and disbursement lag of 28 months at the beginning itself. Since March 2020 the implementation again stopped due to COVID-19 spread in the project areas,” it further reads.

The closed date of the project was June 30, 2020 but it has been extended by twelve months -June 30, 2021—(KNO)

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