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India Urges World Bank to grant $5-7 billion to meet its funding requirements

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World Bank, Wikimedia

New Delhi, March 1, 2017: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday urged the World Bank to grant India $5-7 billion to meet its funding requirements.

“An increase in World Bank’s support is imperative to meet our current requirement of $5-7 billion and for a huge pipeline of projects,” said Jaitley in a statement after meeting its Chief Executive Kristalina I. Georgieva here.

India has decided to seek the aid only through the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) of the World Bank and cease the funding from its affiliate — International Development Agency (IDA).

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As the original World Bank institution, IBRD offers loans to middle-income developing countries, while IDA gives loans and grants to the world’s poorest developing countries.

Jaitley also stressed on the need for capital increase in the Bank group.

He also urged the World Bank to lower its interest rate by removing the commitment charges levied on the undisbursed loans.

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“The World Bank should explore innovative financing options and relax the requirement of Sovereign Guarantee for loans to AAA rated organisations,” reiterated Jaitley.

Georgieva, who is on a two-day official visit to understand the partnership between India and the Bank, also met RBI Governor Urjit Patel and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai on Tuesday for a first-hand experience of the Bank’s projects in the country. (IANS)

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World Bank: Russia Banking Sector Remains at Risk Despite Recent State Costly Bailouts

"The banking sector remains afflicted with high concentration and state dominance," the World Bank said in the report

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world bank, russia banking sector
A Russian flag flies over the headquarters of the country's central bank in Moscow (file photo) RFERL

The World Bank says Russia’s banking sector is stabilizing but remains at risk despite recent state bailouts of Russian banks totaling tens of billions of dollars.

In a scheduled report dated June 10, the Washington-based lender estimated that state-owned banks now account for 62 percent of all assets at Russian banks following the closure of hundreds of lenders in recent years and the rescue of several major financial institutions.

“The banking sector remains afflicted with high concentration and state dominance,” the World Bank said in the report. The warning comes less than a week after the World Bank, the lending arm of the International Monetary Fund, cut Russia’s 2019 economic growth forecast to 1.2 percent from a previous estimate of 1.5 percent because of oil production cuts.

world bank, russia banking sector
“The banking sector remains afflicted with high concentration and state dominance,” the World Bank said in the report. Pixabay

While the bank said Russia’s macroeconomic and fiscal buffers were strong, economic growth prospects remained modest. “Downside risks to Russia’s growth outlook stem from the potential expansion of sanctions, deterioration of financial market sentiment, souring global trade environment and a dramatic drop in oil prices,” the report said.

Russia’s business climate faces stiff headwinds for many reasons, including the economic sanctions imposed by the United States, Japan, and European allies for Moscow’s 2014 seizure of Crimea, along with alleged Russian interference in U.S. elections.

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The World Bank projected annual economic growth for the years 2020 and 2021 at 1.8 percent. “On the upside, national projects aimed at strengthening human capital and increasing productivity, if well-implemented, could positively affect Russia’s potential growth in the medium-term,” the bank said in its report.

Russia’s economy expanded 2.3 percent in 2018, aided in large part by one-off projects, buoyant energy prices, and an influx of tourists for the soccer World Cup. (RFERL)