A World Bank delegation is currently in Mauritius to work on a new programe-based Development Policy Lending (DPL) of $80 million.
This scheme is designed to support the government in undertaking comprehensive structural reform of the economy by lending funds for specific projects. According to the World Bank, the local authorities have requested support in specific areas.
The $80 million will be broken down into four operations of $20 million each. The first disbursement is scheduled for the first quarter of 2012 and is the fifth DPL approved by the World Bank since 2007.
Overall, the total budget support obtained from the international organisations exceeds $1 billion. The five-person World Bank delegation yesterday had a meeting with the permanent secretaries and representatives of various ministries at the National Assembly.
The delegation also met Civil Service and Administrative Reforms Minister Ashit Gungah and discussed reforms in the public sector and the setting up of a civil service college.
According to the World Bank, the Mauritian government has requested a new DPL series after “successfully addressing competitiveness issues in the programmatic DPL series, which supported the government in its reform agenda and responded quickly yet efficiently to the international economic and financial downturn, the government has requested another DPL series (four operations of $20 million each)”.
This new series would support attaining substantial efficiency gains through improved public service delivery, regulatory and administrative simplification.
The $80 million will be used in areas such as social protection, public enterprises and parastatal reforms, Civil Service reform, raising competitiveness (trade), and improving social sector delivery (education and health).
The first DPL for Mauritius was approved by the World Bank on December 12, 2006. The second $30 million DPL was approved on February 28, 2008, and helped the government implement a reform programme with respect to trade shocks and high oil prices and the transition from low-wage, low-skill sugar and apparel exporter to innovative, knowledge and skill-based economy.
The loan also helped to finance the budget deficit at that time, improve the quality of services such as telecommunications, air transport and air transport and strengthen transitional support for displaced workers.
On March 31, 2009, the World Bank approved another DPL of $ 100 million to reform parastatal institutions such as the Central Water Authority. The fourth loan was granted to keep the momentum of reforms and coordination among development partners.
By Nilen Kattany
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