World Bank to fund $ 18 billion loan to India in 3 years …


NEW DELHI: The World Bank said it is ready to commit $15-18 billion to support India over the next three years, even as its president endorsed the business model of Gujarat, the state that Narendra Modi ruled for over a decade before he became the Prime Minister in May.

The multilateral financial institution also welcomed the formation of the New Development Bank by the BRICS group of emerging economies — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It said the initiative would support their infrastructure financing requirements.

“On the public side of operations we can provide India with between $15-18 billion, and on the private side of things, a minimum of $3.5 billion,” World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim said after a meeting with Modi.

Kim was in India on a three-day visit to learn more about the new government’s development priorities. In a statement, Modi said the two sides discussed several ways of working together.

“Rather than dollars, we are more interested in knowledge and expertise of World Bank. Dr Kim agreed and said World Bank can be our information bank,” the PM tweeted later. “We want ideas from the World Bank, not only on mass production but also on production by masses, which will benefit our workforce.”

Praising the Gujarat development model, Kim said if the ranking of doing business in India’s case were just based on doing business in Gujarat, then the nation’s ranking would improve under Modi.” India ranked 134 in the latest ease of doing business index of the World Bank Group.

On the BRICS bank, Kim said the World Bank would be very happy to provide technical assistance and knowledge services for the new instituation. “If you look at the need for infrastructure development in the developing countries, it’s enormous. So any bank or any group of institution that are going to tackle the problem of infrastructure investment, to fight poverty, is a welcome.” Kim said from his discussions with Modi and finance minister Arun Jaitley, it was clear that they were committed to quickening India’s economic growth.

“I assured them that the World Bank Group will bring to bear all possible knowledge and financing to help them in this task,” he said. “They have identified infrastructure development and job-oriented skill development as the deep drivers of growth,” he said.

He added that the new government would like India to return to a growth rate of 9% and that the World Bank fully supports this. India is the largest client for the World Bank Group, which committed a total of $6.4 billion to the country during its last fiscal year (July 2013 to June 2014).

In his Twitter account, Modi said: “I also suggested to Dr Jim Yong Kim that the cleaning of the Ganga would be a very inspiring project for the World Bank”.

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