$150-m World Bank loan for e-governance plan

Our Bureau Kozhikode | Updated on April 01, 2011

The World Bank has approved a loan of $150 million for speeding up the implementation of a national e-governance plan (NeGP) in the country. NeGP is a flagship e-governance initiative of the Union Government that was launched in 2006 with the objective of transforming the services delivery system across the country.

The loan will support the programme for increasing online services for citizens, which include birth and death registration, tax filing, land records and applying for driving licences and vehicle registration.

27 projects

NeGP has identified 27 projects for adoption of e-services, each one to be spearheaded by a relevant ministry/agency of the Union or State Governments. The plan is expected to lead to significant social benefits for the poor, especially in relation to services like social welfare schemes, pensions, PDS-related services for food and essential items, rural health, compensation and relief packages and the use of right to information.

According to a World Bank release, though NeGP has made substantial progress since inception, the implementation process has not lived up to the Government's expectations. For one, a majority of rural people still do not have access to e-services.

It has now been decided to extend e-services facility to around 2.5 lakh panchayats in the country. However, the partial development of technical standards, lack of an effective monitoring system, insufficient participation of citizens, limited internet penetration in rural areas and the need for re-orientation of government processes and officials to implement the programme have been identified as some of the impediments coming in the way of achieving the stated objective.

It is also pointed out that though last-mile connectivity remains a major challenge to the delivery of e-services in remote areas, the increasing mobile tele-density, which at present is over 60 per cent, is expected to facilitate delivery of mobile-based government services to the citizens at a low cost in the near future.

Published on April 01, 2011

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