The Government of India, the Government of Madhya Pradesh and the World Bank signed a US $35 million credit agreement for the Citizen Access to Responsive Services Project to improve access to selected public services for the people of the state of Madhya Pradesh.
The project will support the Government of Madhya Pradesh expand the number of services under the 2010 Public Services Guarantee Act, open another 200 LSK centers (Lok Seva Kendras) in underserved and remote areas, streamline government procedures and reach out to citizens so they all benefit from access to key public services "anywhere, anytime" through transparent and accountable governance as per the government’s "Vision 2018". This will help ensure that citizens in rural and remote areas also benefit from these improvements.
Around 126 public services have been notified under the Act which include water and electric connections, various government schemes like the widow allowance and pension schemes, caste and property certificates, and legal agriculture documents among others. The project will support the government in notifying another 50 services under the Act.
The credit agreement for the Citizen Access to Responsive Services Project was signed by Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Government of India; M. Selvendran, Executive Director, State Agency for Public Services, Department of Public Service Management, on behalf of the Government of Madhya Pradesh; and Onno Ruhl, World Bank Country Director in India, on behalf of the World Bank.
"Madhya Pradesh was the first state in India and worldwide to approve a Right to Public Services legislation and since then, 14 states have emulated the initiative. By focusing on providing a more responsive service delivery, particularly for the poor and underserved groups, the project will go a long way in making MP a reference for other low-income states striving to provide access to public services to its people," said Onno Ruhl, World Bank Country Director in India.
The credit is from the International Development Association (IDA) the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm with a maturity of 25 years, including a 5 year grace period.