Free Press Journal

World Bank head says to give $15 bln-$18 bln to India in next 3 yrs


–World Bank head: Could give India $15 bln-$18 bln in next 3 yrs
–Hope Gujarat development model can be scaled up
–Had productive meetings with PM, finance minister
–Welcome new BRICS bank
–Hope can help Modi achieve his vision for India
–Inspired by Modi’s vision for India
–Critical to increase financial access
–Critical to create more infrastructure
–Discussed India’s growth potential with Jaitley

New Delhi: The World Bank will provide $15 bln-$18 bln to India over the next three years to help the country return to sustained high growth path and bring millions out of poverty, Group President Jim Yong Kim said today.

“From my discussions with Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi and (Finance) Minister (Arun) Jaitley, it is clear that they are committed to increasing India’s economic growth…we will give all our support to the government as it strives to create jobs and build prosperity for its people,” Kim said.

“The World Bank Group will be ready to provide financial support worth $15 bln-18 bln over the next three years,” he said.

Kim, who is on a three-day visit to India, was addressing a press conference after his meeting with Modi.

India is the largest client for the World Bank group with a total commitment of $29.7 bln assistance as at the end of June.

The government is committed to introducing key reforms, which are critical to India achieving its full economic potential, he said.

“They have identified infrastructure development and job-oriented skill development as the deep drivers of growth. The World Bank Group is ready to support these development initiatives with financing, as well as knowledge and capacity building, that is informed by global experience,” he said.

“It will be critical to build more quality infrastructure, expand financial access, improve investment climate and invest on India’s people,” he said.

Kim also said he was “extremely impressed” with the prime minister’s vision and hoped that the Gujarat development model could be scaled up. Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat for over a decade before taking over as prime minister.

“The new government would like to return to growth rate of 9%,” Kim said. The International Development Association, the soft lending arm of the World Bank, will provide $3.4 bln to India over the next three years as transitional support.

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development has also increased the single borrower limit for India to $20 bln from $17.5 bln.

“This, along with the Government of India’s agreement to purchase Special Private Placement Bonds of up to $4.3 bln, will create additional opportunities for continued assistance to India as it strives to revive growth,” Kim said. In addition, the World Bank’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corp has mobilised $1 bln through offshore rupee bonds.

“We and the government are very encouraged by the amount of interest that we saw in rupee denominated bonds and are almost certain that we will continue,” Kim said when asked if IFC would issue additional rupee-denominated bonds.

Kim also welcomed the move by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa To set up a BRICS development bank.