World Bank has a portfolio of about Rs 3160 crores in HP: CM

Shimla, March 16 : The cooperation between the State of Himachal Pradesh and the World Bank has been increasing by leaps and bounds since the last few years as today World Bank has a total portfolio of close to Rs. 3160 crores, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said on Wednesday. The CM said this while interacting with the team of World Bank led by its Regional Vice President (RVP), World Bank Hartwig Schafer at Oak Over last night. Chief Minister said that World Bank and Himachal Pradesh have a long-standing history of engagement and developmental cooperation and first Development Policy Loan (DPL) of US $ 100 million was extended by the World Bank to Himachal Pradesh way back in September 2012 and was followed by second DPL of equal amount in 2014. He said that the objective of the loans was to help the State to move forward on its path of inclusive and sustainable green growth. It helped the State to usher policy reforms in finance, power, watershed management, tourism, and industry, he added. Jai Ram Thakur said that five different programs in the roads, water supply, horticulture, forest, and financial management sectors were going on in the State. He said that Green House Gases (GHG) inventory, the first of its kind in the Country was worked out which helped the State to sharpen its policy focus towards green and sustainable development. He said that one program with a total loan component of Rs. 1500 crore for overall improvement of the power sector is in the pipeline and loan agreement was expected to be signed by 30th June 2022. Chief Minister said that a carbon-neutral economy powered by green energy abundant in the State would lead to maximization of returns/savings in different sectors viz., agriculture, horticulture, tourism, forests, mobility, health, water, sanitation, etc. otherwise vulnerable to climate change. In view of the increasing foot print of transport sector in overall pollution matrix investment support for Traffic De-congestion in two Smart Cities viz. Shimla and Dharamshala by way of Ropeways etc. would also be a great help, he added. Jai Ram Thakur said that the State would be requiring investment, technical and knowledge support for clean and resilient infrastructure in the energy sector, that is, solar, storage solutions especially pump storage and hydro etc. He said that with its huge renewable potential of 60 GW and empowered by the legacy of technical development the State has an important role to play in the country’s energy transition goals. Chief Minister said the State would also be requiring investment, technical and knowledge support on sustainable forest catchments, payment on ecological services, climate-smart agriculture, and integrated water resources management for livelihood security. Regional Vice President (RVP), World Bank Hartwig Schafer said that the World Bank has entered into a strategic partnership with the State Government. He said that he also visited the Shimla Water Supply Scheme site funded by the World Bank. He said that since agriculture and horticulture were the mainstays of the economy in the State, the World Bank was also keen to assist the State in this sector. He said that emphasis must be laid on the comprehensive policy of energy which could be a mix of solar and hydropower energy. Chief Secretary Ram Subhag Singh said that State has immense hydel potential which almost accounts to green energy. He said that now the State Government was laying special emphasis on solar energy. Additional Chief Secretary Finance Prabodh Saxena said that despite geographical constraints, Himachal Pradesh has emerged as front runner State of the country in many sectors. Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Subhasish Panda and representatives of World Bank were also present on the occasion. ML ACL1129

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