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World Bank, IMF should reflect rise of developing economies: India

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United Nations: India has called for reforming the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to reflect the rise of the developing and transitional economies and give them more say in governance.

The share of the developing economies in transition in the world gross domestic product has increased from 39 percent in 2008-2010 to 49 percent in 2012-14, but the shareholding patterns at the financial institutions have not kept pace with the change, Amit Narang, a counsellor at the Indian Mission told a session of the General Assembly committee that deals with economic and financial matters Tuesday.

“There is thus an urgent need to take up shareholding realignment in the World Bank to reflect these changes” he said.

“The changing global economic landscape makes it imperative for steps to be taken to increase the credibility and legitimacy of these institutions in response to these changes,” Narang added.

As for the IMF, he said it was facing and “unprecedented situation” having failed to implement the quota of shares set during the last review in 2010 even as the time has come for the next review.

The Republican-controlled US Congress has blocked the implementation of the new quota structure, which would increase the shares of India, Brazil, Russia and China-the BRIC countries-putting them among the 10 largest shareholders of the IMF. The share quotas determine the voting power and access to funding.

“We need to collectively reflect on a constructive way forward so that the IMF continues to be well resourced through quota resources, and also reflects the changing global economy in its governance structure,” Narang said.

He also criticised the Financing for Development Conference for “formalising the status quo which effectively keeps out the voices of a large number of countries” in the Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development.

“It unequivocally weakened multilateralism and undermined the notion of universality,” Narang asserted. “This important notion was exposed to be a convenient rhetoric to weaken differentiation in international relations.”

(IANS)

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After World Bank’s Head Quits, Donald Trump Likely To Determine The Successor

China, though a part of the World Bank, has thrown a challenge to it by setting up its own development banking institutions

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Trump, U.S.
Donald Trump. VOA

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has announced that he is stepping down as the head of the premier anti-poverty institution putting the likely choice of its future leadership in the hands of US President Donald Trump, a sceptic of international development.

Trump’s role is expected reinvigorate challenges to Washington’s monopoly on appointing the Bank’s head.

Announcing his decision on Monday, Kim said in a tweet: “It’s been the greatest privilege I could have ever imagined to lead the dedicated staff of this great institution to bring us closer to a world that is finally free of poverty.”

Kim, 59, who is dropping out 19 months into his second term on February 1, would be joining a private company and focus on infrastructure investments in developing countries, the Bank said.

The Bank’s CEO Kristalina Georgieva will become the interim president till a successor to Kim is appointed.

As the largest share-holder, the US by tradition appoints the head of the Bank, while Europeans determine the chief of the International Monetary Fund.

Kim was nominated for the job by former President Barack Obama in 2012.

Before Trump’s election, Kim was hastily re-appointed in September 2016 to a second term that began in July 2017 with an eye on pre-empting a possible Trump nominee getting the job.

Now, however, Trump will get an opportunity to nominate the Bank’s head.

Trump’s role will resurrect and strengthen challenges to the post-World War II model of the leadership of the 189-member bank that has always been determined by the US .

Already the US nominee was challenged for the first time in 2012 by two contenders.

Trump, U.S.
World Bank head quits, Trump likely to determine successor. VOA

Colombian economist Jose Antonio Ocampo Gaviria eventually withdrew from the race, while Nigeria’s then-Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala lost when the Bank’s directors rubber-stamped Kim’s appointment.

Now there will be robust demands for reconsidering the US leadership of the Bank and stronger non-American contenders for the job.

Kim, a South Korea-born US citizen, was an unusual leader for the Bank: He was a medical doctor by training, a specialist in public health and an academic with a Harvard doctorate in anthropology who had led the Ivy League Dartmouth College.

But his background in health was a plus for the Bank’s mission of fighting poverty and promoting development.

Under his leadership, the Bank adopted in tandem with the UN the goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and focusing on the bottom 40 per cent of the population in the developing world.

The Bank’s International Development Association, which funds programmes in the least developed countries, achieved two record replenishments during his tenure, the last one in 2016 for $75 billion.

Also Read- Government Introduces Quota Bill For Upper Castes in Lok Sabha

Last April, the Bank also increased its capital by $13 billion with the unexpected support of the Trump administration.

Kim also pushed the Bank’s cooperation with the private sector for financing development in the developing world, particularly in the areas of climate change and infrastructure.

China, though a part of the World Bank, has thrown a challenge to it by setting up its own development banking institutions.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), founded in 2016 is one of those institutions and several countries including India, Germany, Britain and South Korea have joined it. (IANS)