India on Wednesday pitched for higher loans from the World Bank at lower interest rates to fund social and infrastructure projects as the fund requirement is going up in a fast growing economy.
World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva called on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to take stock of the bank’s projects and other issues such as capital expansion at the Bretton Woods institution.
Emphasizing the need for increasing the World Bank Portfolio in India, Jaitley said an increase in IBRD (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) support is imperative to meet the current requirement of $5-7 billion for a huge pipeline of projects.
India seeks assistance from the World Bank through IBRD. The IBRD is the first of five member institutions that compose the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington D.C.
World Bank now lends $2-3 billion annually to India.
Jaitley stressed on the need for capital increase in the World Bank Group.
The Finance Minister also pressed for lowering the effective rate of interest on World Bank loans by removing the commitment charges levied on the undisbursed loans.
He also pitched for exploring innovative financing options and relaxing the requirement of sovereign guarantee for loans to “AAA” rated organisations.
Georgieva, who is on a 2-day official visit to India, has met the chief minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, RBI Governor Urjit Patel and officials of World Bank to get a firsthand experience of the implementation of the Bank’s projects in India.