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India home to most poor, but poverty rate lowest: World Bank

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epa03394045 Elderly women beg money at a pavement in Calcutta on 11 September 2012. India's official poverty rate as per Planning Commission, stands at 29.8 per cent, or near to 350 million people using the 2010 population figures. EPA/PIYAL ADHIKARY
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Washington: India was home to the largest number of poor in 2012, but its poverty rate was one of the lowest among those countries with the largest number of poor, according to a new World Bank report.

A new methodology applied to household surveys in India also suggests that its poverty rate could be even lower, the report noted.

For 2011-12, India’s poverty rate using the so-called “uniform reference period” (URP)-based consumption was 21.2 percent.

But a new method introduced in 2009-10 by the National Sample Survey Organization using a shorter recall period for food items brings down the poverty rate to a significantly lower figure of 12.4 percent.

From a broader historical perspective, the global poverty rate has fallen by approximately 1 percentage point a year since 1990, with rapid poverty reduction in China and India playing a central role in this outcome, the report noted.

Tentative projections for global poverty in 2015 suggest that the global headcount may have reached 700 million, leading to a poverty rate of 9.6 percent.

The number of people living in extreme poverty around the world was likely to fall to under 10 percent of the global population in 2015, according to World Bank projections.

This gives fresh evidence that a quarter-century-long sustained reduction in poverty is moving the world closer to the historic goal of ending poverty by 2030, the report said.

For the last several decades, three regions, East Asia and Pacific, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa, have accounted for some 95 percent of global poverty.

In its regional forecasts for 2015, the Bank said poverty in South Asia would fall to 13.5 percent in 2015, compared to 18.8 percent in 2012.

“Development has been robust over the last two decades but the protracted global slowdown since the financial crisis of 2008, is beginning to cast its shadow on emerging economies,” said World Bank Chief Economist Kaushik Basu.

“There is some turbulence ahead,” added Basu, a former chief economic adviser to the Indian government.

“The economic growth outlook is less impressive for emerging economies in the near future, which will create new challenges in the fight to end poverty and attend to the needs of the vulnerable, especially those living at the bottom 40 percent of their societies,” he said.

(by Arun Kumar, IANS)

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World Bank shareholders endorse capital increase plan

Following the capital increase plan announced Saturday, the combined financing arms of the World Bank

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World Bank's prompt decission to pause two seperate projects with India nad Pakistan came after India's objection against it
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The World Bank has said its shareholders endorsed a capital increase package, a series of internal reforms, and a set of policy measures to strengthen the international lender’s capabilities.

The $13 billion capital increase package includes $7.5 billion of paid-in capital for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the group’s primary lending arm, and $5.5 billion for the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the group’s private sector lending arm, said the World Bank in a statement on Saturday, Xinhua reported.

World BAnk shareholders to have better plans.

World Bank shareholders also endorsed a $52.6 billion callable capital increase for IBRD, the statement said.

“Through the historic agreement endorsed today, our shareholders have clearly demonstrated a renewed confidence in global cooperation,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said.

“This capital package allows for greater responsiveness to risks to global stability and security, particularly in poorer countries and fragile states,” Kim added.

Following the capital increase plan announced Saturday, the combined financing arms of the World Bank are expected to reach an average annual capacity of nearly $100 billion between fiscal year 2019 and fiscal year 2030, said the World Bank. Kim said at a press briefing this week that the capital increase package doesn’t target changes of loans to any specific country.

Also Read: India will become High-Middle Income Country by 2047, says World Bank CEO

“It’s about how we think about income levels and how the World Bank Group can continue to be a partner and to support all of our member countries who are still clients,” he argued. He said that the multilateral lender would increase lending to lower middle-income countries over time. IANS

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