India has approached the World Bank and Asian Development Bank for loans to help rebuild the flood-ravaged Uttarakhand for a good, strong reason — their monitoring system.
Top government officials told The Indian Express that more than the funds, the worry for the government was graft that often stops relief from reaching the affected people. They said they were involving the World Bank and Asian Development Bank for “better monitoring” as well as to “weed out chances of corruption”.
On Monday, representatives from the two institutions will visit Uttarakhand to assess the situation. The Prime Minister has already announced a Rs 2,000 crore relief package from the PM’s Relief Fund.
“We decided to seek ADB and World Bank’s help as they have an excellent system of monitoring funds. We want to ensure the money is utilised judiciously,” said Suneel Kumar Muttoo, Chief Resident Commissioner, Uttarakhand.
Another official involved in the relief work said, “People have already started talking about making money under such circumstances. Corruption is bound to creep in but we have to ensure that the money reaches the victims. This is why we have decided to engage external agencies.”
The loan amount from the two agencies would be passed on by Government of India to Uttarakhand as 90 per cent grant and 10 per cent loan, since it is a special category state, an official said.
The state government has also decided to come out with an advertisement, asking all organisations and NGOs collecting funds for flood relief operations, to register with them.
“There are so many people collecting funds for the flood-affected people. There is no count of such organisations. We should at least know the list of organisations and NGOs so that we can publish them on our website and people can donate accordingly,” said a senior official.
Recently, there was an instance when the IAF complained to the Delhi Police about fake profiles in its name on a social networking site which asked people to donate money to help the victims.
The Indian High Commission in London recently asked the state government to identify their SWIFT code (Bank Identifier Code) as they wanted to contribute funds for the flood-affected people.
“Though the account number was available online, the High Commission wanted to ensure that they did not became victims of phishing or any fraudulent activity. There are several messages and account numbers doing the rounds online where