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In a significant recognition of the social welfare schemes launched by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the World Bank has approved a loan of $125 million (nearly Rs 1,000 crore) for inclusive social protection.

Earlier, IANS had indicated that the World Bank intends to finance the state government towards the cost of the "Women's Empowerment and Inclusive Social Protection Programme" and apply part of the proceeds for consulting services. This will help in certain welfare schemes launched by the state government like 'Kanyashree', 'Rupashree', 'Lakshmir Bhandar', 'Swastha Sathi', 'Widow Pension' and 'Old Age Pension'.

On Saturday, in a press statement, the state government announced that the World Bank on January 19 in recognition of these efforts of the state government has sanctioned $125 million (about Rs 1,000 crore) loan to the West Bengal government to support the state's effort to help the poor and vulnerable groups access social protection services. Mamata Banerjee's earnest endeavour to identify the problems of the weaker sections of the society and redress them has paid a huge dividend, the statement read.
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