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India: Assam Government to pilot last mile connectivity project

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The Government of Assam is setting setting up a pilot project for last mile connectivity to promote e-governance services in the state. Initially, the pilot project envisages deploying ICT to support design, supply, installation and commissioning the BPL based on Internet connectivity.

The state government is trying to seek technical assistance grant from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). ADB has already floated a tender for the project. The project is being executed in partnership with Assam Electronics Development Corporation Limited (AMTRON). The BPL Internet will be used for business-to-business (B2B), business-to-citizen (B2C) and e-governance services, along with other value added services such as Automatic Meter Reading (AMR), IP Phones to 200 users spread over a limited geographical area within Sualkuchi. The Japan Special Fund (JSF)-sponsored fund, proposes sanction of technical assistance of $600,000 for capacity development and for supporting programme implementation of the programme loan. The Assam Government will contribute a further $150,000. The loan would be released in three tranches of $40 million each in the first and second tranches, and $20 million in the third tranche. The loan and technical assistance would focus on increasing the revenue department s administrative capacity, including implementation of new information and communication technology systems. It will also take steps to improve expenditure management, strengthen debt management systems, and close certain loss-making public sector enterprises.

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