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India’s growth can be inclusive and sustainable: World Bank

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

World Bank sees a great promise in NDA government’s three pronged development agenda. It feels that Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government’s strategy of promoting fast and durable economic growth; involving states as active development partners; and improving the delivery of social benefits and extending social safety to the elderly and the underprivileged, will accelerate inclusive and sustainable growth but reforms have to be stepped up.

World Bank report, India Development Update, April 2015, said that the Indian government has already started implementing reforms to improve the business environment; liberalize FDI; boost both public and private investment in infrastructure; quickly resolve corporate disputes; simplify taxation, and lower corporate taxes. The states are going to receive more resources and power while the implementation of GST will improve tax to GDP ratio.

The report said that the reforms of the government, coupled with favorable external environment like reduced oil prices, have led to growth acceleration, inflation decline and narrowing of current account deficit. However, it also cautioned about the negative impact that oil price rise or tightening of US monetary policy can have on the country.

The bank also said that new investments to the country are still dented due to the debt overhang in the corporate balance sheets, which has extended to the Public Sector Banks (PSB). Promotion of private investment to bridge the infrastructural deficit was also required.

The report offered some solutions too, like the need to increase manufacturing competitiveness significantly to carve a space among the world’s large exporters. It also talked of the need for infrastructural boost to bring India at par with the world’s manufacturing hubs, in addition to the competitive supply of labor, land, finance, and skills, as well as a friendly business environment.

The World Bank report also emphasized on the role of MGNREGS in the process of development in India.

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World Bank Approves $310 Million Loan for Sri Lanka to Reduce Flood Risks

Evidence suggests flood frequency will increase

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The World Bank said in a statement that the Climate Resilience Multi Phase Programmatic Approach project in the island was the first of a three-phase investment programme. Pixabay

 The World Bank has approved a $310 million loan for Sri Lanka to reduce and mitigate the flood risks in parts of the capital and improve weather forecasting as well as early warning systems across the island country, the media reported on Thursday.

The World Bank said in a statement that the Climate Resilience Multi Phase Programmatic Approach project in the island was the first of a three-phase investment programme totalling $774 million which will be implemented over eight years.

Evidence suggests flood frequency will increase and nearly 87 per cent of Sri Lankans are living in areas which are likely to experience extreme temperatures and rainfall that will impact their lives, the statement cited by Xinhua news agency said.

“This comprehensive climate resilience programme will reduce losses to people’s livelihoods and public assets while reducing shocks on the economy,” said Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough, World Bank County Director for Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives.

World Bank, Sril Lanka, Flood
The World Bank has approved a $310 million loan for Sri Lanka to reduce and mitigate the flood risks in parts of the capital. Pixabay

“Compelling evidence has informed this long-term programme which will help the government build socially responsive infrastructure and communication systems to protect lives and assets,” she added.

The programme aligns with the government’s plans to ensure fiscal and physical resilience and reduce the vulnerability of Sri Lanka’s economy in the aftermath of the 2016 and 2017 floods.

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The new forecasting systems are expected to benefit the entire nation, including 3.5 million beneficiaries living in flood-prone areas in 25 river basins. (IANS)