Maha: Civic body to co-create India's first social impact bond

·2-min read

Pune, Jan 4 (PTI) Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) in Maharashtra's Pune district has signed an MoU with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to co-create 'India's first' Social Impact Bond (SIB), officials said on Monday.

This type of bond lays down outcome-based targets to be achieved at the start of the contract, an official release said, adding that, in a first, a government body will act as the 'outcome funder' in a bond contrary to convention.

Under the SIB unique investment tool, the PCMC administration will only have to bear the costs of a public welfare project associated with the bond if the pre-defined project targets are fulfilled, the civic body.

'This type of bond lays down outcome-based targets to be achieved at the start of the contract. This feature allows for tracking the progress of the outcomes, thus ensuring transparency for investors. The mechanism also ensures that funds are used effectively and efficiently towards the project,' the release said.

The PCMC further said the SIB will support the civic body in improving healthcare services for its citizens, especially with respect to the pandemic while incurring minimum investment risks.

'This is the first time that a government body will act as the 'Outcome Funder' in a bond, whereas traditionally most government-funded public projects require large and early investments by the government with a substantial gestation period of outcomes and involve various kinds of risks,' it said.

The introduction of the SIB will attract more investors from public and private sectors to fund public welfare projects and thus help to meet the investment deficit currently hindering India's roadmap to SDGs.

'The social impact bond places PCMC at the forefront of adopting innovative mechanisms to drive social development, specifically in the healthcare sector, which is the cornerstone of our urban planning.

'This is in line with our vision of making Pimpri- Chinchwad the most livable city in India by 2030,' PCMC Commissioner Shravan Hardikar said in a statement.

PCMC is currently operating more than 30 primary, secondary and tertiary level healthcare facilities with an aggregate 1,500-bed capacity. These facilities have been crucial in addressing the health crisis duringthe pandemic.

'The SIB will allow PCMC to not only upgrade the infrastructure but also build the capacity of its staff and establish protocols that can support higher quality healthcare,' said the release. PTI SPK NSK NSK