World Bank offers Rs 7500 crore social protection package for India linked to Government of India programmes
World Bank offers Rs 7500 crore social protection package for India linked to Government of India programmes

The World Bank on Friday approved USD 1 billion (Rs 7,500 crore) social protection package for India linked to Central government's programmes.

World Bank also said that the billion-dollar social protection package was in addition to the previous package of USD 1 billion allocated to India for COVID-19 emergency response and health systems.

The World Bank will partner with the Govt of India in three areas - health, social protection and the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME), added World Bank Country Director (India) Junaid Kamal Ahmad on Friday.

"The World Bank's billion-dollar support for social protection will help India leverage it's PM Garib Kalyan Yojana," said .

"Social distancing has led to slowdown of economy. Govt of India has focused on Garib Kalyan Yojna to help protect poor & vulnerable as a bridge between from health interventions are happening & where the economy can be revived," Ahmad added.

These measures, intended to contain the spread of the virus have, however, impacted economies and jobs - especially in the informal sector. India with the world's largest lockdown has not been an exception to this trend, he said.

Of the USD 1 billion commitment, USD 550 million will be financed by a credit from the International Development Association (IDA) - the World Bank's concessionary lending arm and USD 200 million will be a loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), with a final maturity of 18.5 years including a grace period of five years.

The remaining USD 250 million will be made available after June 30, 2020.

The aid from the World Bank comes as the country continues to reel under COVID-19 pandemic.

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