The World Bank on Wednesday said it will provide financial support of $15-18 billion to India over the next three years to help accelerate economic growth and reduce poverty.
Talking to media persons after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi here, World Bank group president Jim Yong Kim said the Indian government has outlined a comprehensive plan to reduce poverty and return to over nine percent economic growth trajectory.
“The new government would like India to return to growth rate of nine percent a year. The World Bank group fully supports this goal,” he said.
“It is vital that India achieve these levels of growth to reduce poverty more quickly and to boost shared prosperity among its people.”
Kim said the World Bank was impressed by the Modi government’s commitment to accelerate growth.
Kim, who is on a visit to India July 21-25, also met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and several other ministers and senior government officials.
“From my discussions with Prime Minister Modi and minister Jaitley, it is clear that they are committed to increasing India’s economic growth,” he said.
“I assured them that the World Bank Group will bring to bear all possible knowledge and financing to help them in this task. A large proportion of the world’s poor live in India and we will give all our support to the government as it strives to create jobs and build prosperity for its people.”
“The World Bank Group will be ready to provide financial support worth $15-18 billion over the next three years,” Kim added.
India is the largest recipient of the World Bank’s aid with a current portfolio of 85 projects having a commitment of $24.12 billion.
This includes $12.86 billion aid from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), $11.16 billion in active projects from the International Development Association (IDA).
India also constitutes the largest single portfolio exposure of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, with commitments over $4.5 billion.
Between July 2013 and June 2014, the World Bank Group offered financial assistance worth $6.4 billion to India.
On his talks with Modi and other ministers and officials, Kim said discussions focused on the government’s plans to re-ignite growth by investing in infrastructure to create jobs, providing quality education and skills training to eight million young people who enter the labour force each year, and better equipping the 10 million people who leave rural areas for towns and cities each year for jobs.
“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,” he added.
Kim also apprised the government of recent collaborative efforts between the Government of India and the World Bank Group to ensure that India continues to receive high levels of financial assistance from its various units.