World Bank approved $35 million to improve citizen access to public services in Madhya Pradesh

Feb 2, 2016 16:05 IST

The World Bank Board on 29 January 2016 approved a 35 million US dollars credit for the Citizen Access to Responsive Services Project. The Project will improve access to selected public services for the people of Madhya Pradesh (MP) and particularly those belonging to deprived groups.

The World Bank’s concessionary lending arm, the International Development Association (IDA) will lend the amount with a maturity of 25 years, including a 5 year grace period.

Silent Features of the Citizen Access to Responsive Services Project

• This project will provide support to Madhya Pradesh Government to expand the number of services under the 2010 Public Services Guarantee Act.

• It would help to open LSK centers in underserved and remote areas, streamline government procedures and reach out to citizens so they all benefit from access to key public services anywhere, anytime through transparent and accountable governance as per the government’s Vision 2018.

• Madhya Pradesh was the first state in India and worldwide to approve a Right to Public Services legislation and since then, 14 states have emulated the initiative by focusing on providing a more responsive service delivery, particularly for the poor and underserved groups.

• Three guiding principles will drive the next generation of PSGA reforms in MP: inclusiveness, simplification and accountability.

• It will integrate various service delivery platforms currently under operation and develop a Sarv Seva portal to allow citizens to access services through the channel of their choice (i.e., kiosk, phone, web or mobile technologies).

• The MP government is also working on simplifying government procedures so that some certificates are not needed at all, or are available real time at a single repository.

Efforts of Madhya Pradesh Government to improve service delivery

• In an effort to improve service delivery, Madhya Pradesh Government adopted the Public Services Guarantee Act (PSGA) in 2010. 

• The PSGA has contributed to improving the delivery of public services to the citizens of Madhya Pradesh in a transparent, efficient and accountable manner.

• It has triggered several reforms including mandatory issuance of receipts for applications, online applications, and adhering to timelines.

• Under the PSGA, services are provided by Lok Seva Kendras (LSKs) or kiosks.

• The LSKs are privately operated under a public private partnership (PPP) arrangement and allowed citizens to apply for multiple government services at a one stop shop.

• Currently, there are 334 LSK centers throughout the state and more than 10 million applications have been processed since 2010.  

• Around 126 public services were notified under the Act which includes water and electric connections, various government schemes like the widow allowance and pension schemes, caste and property certificates, and legal agriculture documents among others.

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