NEW DELHI, July 9, 2010: A Loan Agreement of $107 million equivalent for Statistical Strengthening was signed today by the representatives from the Government of India and the World Bank. The signatories to the Agreement were Mr Anup K. Pujari, Joint Secretary, on behalf of the Government of India and Mr N. Roberto Zagha, World Bank Country Director in India.
India’s rapid economic and social transformation over the past decade has brought to the fore a need for better and timelier statistical information. First, rapid economic growth has brought about structural change and has increased the importance of new sectors in the economy. Second, private investment and output now occupy a larger and growing share of the national economy. Third, the role of sub-national Governments has increased appreciably over time and much of the policy improvements needed to sustain progress are in the realm of the states. Fourth, the recent effects of the global economic crisis, which India is weathering successfully, have nevertheless renewed demands for more accurate statistical information on its impact.
“All of these changes need to be captured by the statistical system to provide the data needed to support effective policy and decision making at all levels,” said Farah Zahir, World Bank Senior Economist and project team leader. “A renewed and modernized statistical system has become essential in order to measure rapid economic and social change, monitor the effects of reform, and to calibrate policy change both in the states and at the center.”
The Statistical Strengthening Loan will support an institutional and policy based reform of the Government of India for strengthening state statistical systems within a national policy framework. It will enable States and Union Territories to make progress towards common national standards relating to key statistical activities and to improve the credibility, timeliness and accuracy of these and other statistics at both central and the state levels.
The $107 million loan for Statistical Strengthening from the IBRD has a 30-year maturity including a 5-year grace period.