World Bank ups India aid to $7 b

Tells govt to buttress banks capital base

World Bank ups India aid to $7 b

HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee (right) with World Bank President Robert Zoellick in New Delhi on Wednesday. Pti

An indication to this effect emerged during a meeting between Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and World Bank President Robert Zoellick here on Wednesday.

The World Bank, in September, had approved a loan for US$4.3 billion for India to help finance infrastructure building and to enhance  the capital base of some of the public sector banks as the economy recovers from the global financial crisis.
The loans are part of World Bank’s US$14 billion lending plan for India over three years through 2012.

Mukherjee, while appreciating the World Bank for its increased lending to India, sought early completion of the process of voice and quota reforms at the organisation to increase the representation of emerging and developing countries.
In response Zoellick —— now on a four-day visit to this country —— sought India’s support in widening the capital base of the World Bank so that it could ‘appropriately’ meet the needs of developmental finance.   

Mukherjee informed the World Bank President that India had always been at the forefront of providing greater capital support to all the multilateral development institutions and had enthusiastically supported a 200 per cent capital increase for the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Later in the day during a meeting with the Transport and Highways Minister Kamal Nath the World Bank Chief agreed to consider newer ways to raise its funding commitment for the highways projects.

“The World Bank has agreed to look at funding viability gap and in the annuity projects not only in terms of financing but in terms of institutional support as well,” Nath told newspersons after the meeting.

The Ministry is seeking a funding to the tune of US$2.96-billion for double-laning of 6,300 km of single-lane highways, out of a total of about 19,000 km single-lane highways in the country.

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