Sri Lanka gets World Bank loan, EU grant to boost public sector

ECONOMYNEXT- The World Bank has approved a 25 million US dollar loan to Sri Lanka to improve the transparency and efficiency of core government and public financial management functions, a statement said.

The Public Sector Efficiency Strengthening Project (PSEP) will help strengthen the institutional capacity of the Ministry of Finance to improve efficiency and deliver better services, with better use of IT and human talent.

“PSEP builds on long-standing collaborative government and World Bank work in the area of public financial management and supports the priority reform areas of the Government of Sri Lanka” World Bank Country Director for Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough said.

“The use of smart technology-based systems such as e-procurement will enhance efficiency, improve transparency and accountability of public institutions through the simplification of procedures,” she said.

The $25 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a final maturity of 28 years including a grace period of 11 years.

The European Union will be a partner in PSEP with a technical assistance grant of 10 million euros to help strengthen core public finance and accountability institutions.

“The project will also leverage international experience in public financial management to increase the impacts of the outcome” World Bank Senior Financial Management Specialist and Task Team Leader for the project Mohan Gopalakrishnan said.

The Sri Lankan government is currently providing a fiscal stimulus package which many analysts worry is not sustainable.

President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has vowed to bridge the gap in finances by strengthening the public sector and eradicating corruption.(Colombo/Dec18/2019)

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