NEW DELHI, September 25, 2015— World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati, on concluding her three-day visit to India has said that the slowdown of the global economy will not stop India from becoming an economic powerhouse as long as reforms are sustained to ensure the most vulnerable and poor share in prosperity.
Indrawati praised India’s strong economic fundamentals and improving investment climate, and encouraged the government to continue its economic reforms, particularly the enactment of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) legislation.
“India is an engine of growth for the world economy with the potential of reaching and sustaining high economic growth above 7 percent a year,” said Indrawati, who is also the World Bank’s Chief Operating Officer. “But its great potential will only be fully realized if the economic fundamentals are strengthened, deeper reforms are implemented, and the promise of prosperity includes all citizens, particularly the most disadvantaged and vulnerable."
In Delhi, she met with Minister of Finance, Arun Jaitley and Minister of Railways, Suresh Prabhu. In the meeting with the Finance Minister, she discussed with him the Bank's support for the government's priority areas - Swachh Bharat, 100 smart cities, AMRUT, 24x7 power, cleaning the Ganga and Skilling India. She assured the Railways Minister of the World Bank’s continued support for modernizing India’s railways and upgrading its rail system infrastructure, which is critical for a fast growing, urbanizing country.
Indrawati also attended the launch of the World Bank flagship publication “Leveraging Urbanization in South Asia”. She stressed India’s unique opportunity to overcome “messy and hidden” urbanization that was stopping the country from fully realizing its economic potential.
During her visit to Mumbai and Jaipur, the World Bank Managing Director met the Chief Ministers of Maharashtra and Rajasthan, along with their high-ranking officials, toured infrastructure and inclusion development projects, and discussed further areas of cooperation between the Bank and India.
In Rajasthan, Indrawati met with students and their parents benefiting from the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya project at Amer near Jaipur, which provides education facilities and opportunities to girls belonging to disadvantaged groups. At the Malviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur, she emphasized greater involvement of women in the workplace as a prerequisite for shared prosperity. While acknowledging the government’s long-standing efforts to promote the inclusion of omen, Indrawati expressed her concerns regarding the continuing decrease in women’s employment, which remains low despite India’s rising education levels among women and the country’s income level.
Indrawati was accompanied by Annette Dixon, Vice President for the South Asia Region of the World Bank during her visit.
The World Bank Group in India:
Today, India is home to the largest operations of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
Recognizing India as a key partner in ending global poverty, the International Development Association (IDA) deputies have provided Transitional IDA funds worth $3.4 billion for the next three years. For International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) lending, the single borrower limit for India has recently been increased to $20 billion from $17.5 billion, and the Government of India agreement to purchase Special Private Placement Bonds of up to $4.3 billion -- all geared to help create additional borrowing options for India.
World Bank in India
World Bank assistance to India between July 2014 and June 2015 amounted to $3.8 billion. This included $2.1 billion from IBRD, $1.7 billion from IDA. As of June 2015, total IBRD and IDA net commitments in India stood at $24.9 (IBRD $12.4 billion, IDA $13.3 billion) across 86 projects.