The Asian Development Bank has given Sri Lanka a 59 million US dollar loan to ensure balanced regional development that includes modernising local government taxation, licensing, and approval rules.
The 'Pura Neguma' Local Government Enhancement Project to be implemented with ADB loan funds is scheduled to be completed by June 2015, a statement said.
The project aims to achieve "a balanced regional development in the country while improving the Local Government infrastructure and service delivery," the ADB said.
Total investment cost of the project of 68.77 million US dollars (7,564 million rupees) includes a loan of 59 million dollars from the Asian Development Fund while 9.77 million dollars (1,074 million rupees) will be provided by the Sri Lankan government.
The project will improve local government infrastructure and service delivery, the ADB said.
It will also help in "local government policy reform and capacity building support for institutionalization of new systems in simplified taxation, licensing, and transparent approval systems."
The ADB project will also support improvement of information systems in local authorities by updating and computerizing databases of rates, taxes and licenses, developing the financial accounting and asset management systems.
Modernising the capacities of local governments to manage the new systems and do project management and administration support is also part of the project.
"Accordingly, at the end of the programme, the Local Authorities will be more accountable and financially and technically strengthened to deliver their services efficiently and effectively," the ADB said.
The project will provide capital grants for about 100 selected local authorities for implementation of subprojects such as water supply and sanitation including sewerage, drainage, solid waste management, and roads and bridges, including suspension bridges.
It will also improve maternity and health centers and other local authority infrastructure facilities such as public markets.