Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:
(a) the amount of money that has been disbursed for the rehabilitation work in Northern Sri Lanka;
(b) the kind of monitoring that is being done for the effective use of Indian tax payers money;
(c) whether a Parliamentary All Party Delegation would be sent to see the rehabilitation work; and
(d) whether the Parliament would expect a comprehensive report on this issue?
ANSWER THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS (SHRI E. AHAMED)
(a) In June 2009, the Prime Minister announced a grant of Rs. 500 crores for relief, rehabilitation and resettlement work in Sri Lanka. Of this, Rs. 68.96 crores was expended in the financial year 2009-10, Rs. 93.86 crores in 2010-11 and Rs. 86.37 crores in the current financial year, until end-October, 2011, on various projects relating to resettlement, rehabilitation and reconstruction works in Northern Sri Lanka. Government has also extended a Line of Credit (LOC) of about US $ 800 million for the restoration of Northern Railway Lines.
(b) The disbursement of funds for projects under the Government’s grant assistance in Sri Lanka is monitored by Project Steering and Project Monitoring Committees set up for this purpose. These Committees include senior representatives of the Government of India, High Commission of India, Colombo and the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL). Funds for the projects are disbursed based on the progress of work and utilization of funds already provided to the implementing agency. Regular field visits to the project sites to assess the progress of work on the ground are also carried out by senior officials of the Government and the High Commission. In projects where procurement is undertaken directly by Government for distribution to beneficiaries, a Procurement Committee in the High Commission oversees the process. Modalities of handing over the items to GoSL and their distribution are mutually agreed through exchange of letters between Government and GoSL. The GoSL is asked to send regular reports on distribution of items. EXIM Bank of India releases and monitors funds sanctioned under Government Lines of Credit.
(c) External Affairs Minister, while replying to the Short Duration Discussion Motion on 26th August 2011 in the Lok Sabha, had welcomed the suggestion made by the Hon’ble Members for the visit of a Joint Parliamentary delegation to Sri Lanka. The visit of the delegation has been tentatively proposed for February 2012.
(d) The Parliament Standing Committee on External Affairs regularly reviews all issues relating to the Ministry of External Affairs.