SRINAGAR: The State Administrative Council (SAC) Thursday accorded sanction to the proposal of the Planning, Development & Monitoring Department (PD&MD) to integrate the ‘Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project’ (JTFRP) as a Project (unit) with the J&K Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA) and authorized ERA to make such consequential changes in the processes or structures as may be necessitated by the integration and also to enter into any correspondence or discussions with the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) of the Union Ministry of Finance and the World Bank, as may be required.
In the aftermath of devastating floods of September 2014, the Project ‘Jhelum & Tawi Flood Recovery Project’ (JTFRP) was sanctioned by the World Bank for an amount of 250 million U.S. Dollars.
The society (J&K ERA) was constituted as a Special Purpose Vehicle for Implementation of Externally Aided Projects within the territorial limits of the state (J&K) as its operational areas. The agency works under the guidance and supervision of a Board of Governors headed by the Governor.
The issue of poor performance of projects under the JTFRP since the inception of the project has been under review at various levels for quite some time now with only 2% expenditure so far in 3 years. In this process, the constraints and institutional bottlenecks hampering the accelerated pace of execution have been identified. The matter was further discussed in the 21st meeting of the Board of Governors of J&K ERA. Given, the mandate of ERA to conceptualize and implement EAP and PPP projects, it was noted that ERA had acquired the requisite expertise in the procedures and guidelines followed in the case of externally funded projects and would ensure a seamless and quick execution process. Therefore, developing a parallel expertise in another agency would not only be time consuming but unproductive too.
In view of this, the SAC decided to integrate the JTFRP as a distinct unit (Project) within the overall ERA structure. Consequently, CEO ERA will now be the overall CEO of the integrated unit, while the Planning Development & Monitoring Department will be the administrative department of the integrated unit.