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* ADB, Japanese assistance for fiscal reforms in Sri Lanka
Fri, Apr 16, 2010, 12:46 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 15, Colombo: Sri Lanka will receive a US$ 50 million loan from Asian Development Bank (ADB) to continue with public finance management reforms aimed to increase the investments in under developed and conflict-affected areas of the country.

A press release issued by the ADB on Thursday said Japan will provide a technical assistance grant of $2 million from the Government of Japan-financed Japan Special Fund to the Fiscal Management Efficiency Project which will be built on a similar ADB program implemented in Sri Lanka earlier.

The ADB loan will be used to introduce new tax revenue and treasury management systems which will strengthen public resource management, giving the Sri Lankan government the fiscal space to step up spending in lagging and conflict-affected regions, the ADB said.

"The project will support the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka to promote sustainable and equitable development in the post-conflict environment by providing greater scope for increasing investments in reconstruction and infrastructure," G. Bhatta, Principal Public Sector Management Specialist in ADB's South Asia Department said.

Addressing the needs of vulnerable groups, especially women, through inclusion of gender-specific needs in the allocation and use of public funds as well as enhanced social safety nets, will be a key benefit of the project.

The technical assistance from Japan Special Fund will be used to help with the establishment of the two IT management information systems, including the preparation of request for proposals to select the international vendor.

The ADB has a 25-year term with a 5-year grace period and interest determined in accordance with its LIBOR-based lending facility. The Government of Sri Lanka will provide in-kind counterpart funding of $10 million, for a total project cost of $60 million. The project is expected to be completed by October 2013.

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