by Roy Mathew
Kerala government signed an agreement with the Central government on Monday for implementing the Rs.1196 crore Kerala Local Government and Service Delivery Project in the State.
The project is to be implemented from 2011 to 2015 with funding from the World Bank.
Minister for Panchayats and Social Welfare M. K. Muneer said here on Monday that each panchayat or municipality would get about Rs. 1 crore as performance grant under the project. The funds were to be used only for creating assets under their annual plans. The funding would be in addition to the annual allocations under recommendations of the State Finance Commission.
However, from third year onwards, eligibility would be based on performance of the local self governments. Not only the amount spent, but also the quality of works undertaken would be evaluated. A web-based database available to the general public covering details including the profiles of the local self governments, budget expenditures and physical analysis would be created for the purpose. A decentralisation analysis cell would be responsible for operating and updating the system.
Mr. Munner said that the overall goal of the project is to improve performance of the panchayats and municipalities in local governance and public service delivery. Each local self government would have to pass a resolution to participate in the project.
The World Bank is extending a credit of Rs. 821 crore and the State government will be putting in Rs. 276 crore as its share. The loan, with a maturity of 35 years, is repayable after a grace period of ten years with interest of 0.75 per cent payable in dollars.
The Kerala Institute of Local Administration, State Institute of Rural Development and Information Kerala Mission will provide support to the panchayats and municipalities in carrying out the project proposals.
Source : http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/kerala/article2158485.ece