World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi today as part of the Bank’s efforts to explore ways to support government initiatives on nutrition and renewable energy.
The Prime Minister’s Office tweeted a picture of Modi with Kim, but no details are immediately available.
Kim, who visited an anganwadi centre here yesterday to get a sense of India’s intervention in child nutrition, is also meeting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
The visit is to review projects and understand first-hand India’s efforts on renewable energy and nutrition, a World Bank statement had said ahead of Kim’s arrival.
“India is the world’s fastest-growing economy and also home to 26 per cent of the global extreme poor. This means India has a great opportunity to make strong and sustained inroads to reducing poverty and helping lead the world in ending extreme poverty by 2030,” Kim had said in the statement.
Stating that he was “very impressed” with Modi’s reforms, he said his visit would explore how the World Bank could provide knowledge and financing to advance his government’s priorities. “We will do all we can to best support India’s ambitious development agenda,” he added.
India is the largest client of the World Bank Group. Between 2015 and 2016, the group lent around $4.8 billion to India.
This includes $2.8 billion from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), $ 1 billion from the International Development Association (IDA) and a further approximately $ 1 billion in investments from the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
As of June 2016, total IBRD and IDA net commitments stood at $ 27 billion (IBRD $ 16 billion, IDA $ 11 billion) across 95 projects.
At the end of May 2016, IFC’s India portfolio featured 248 projects, amounting to a committed and disbursed exposure of about $ 4.4 billion.
Later an official statement said Modi and Kim discussed a broad range of issues and possible avenues of cooperation.
“During the meeting, the Prime Minister expressed happiness at the World Bank’s continued support to India, especially in priority areas like Smart Cities, Ganga Rejuvenation, Skill Development, Swachh Bharat and Power for All. Dr Kim said he was impressed by the progress made towards the ambitious targets in these programmes,” it said.
Modi emphasised the importance of adequate climate change financing for countries like India which are consciously choosing to follow an environmentally sustainable path, the statement said.
“Kim assured the Prime Minister that the World Bank would be proactive and fully support this agenda,” the statement said. “Kim appreciated India’s rapid progress in improving the ease of doing business, especially in the area of logistics,” it added.