Jaitley asks World Bank to expand role in social sector

New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley called for the World Bank to have a greater role in the social sector projects like education, health, agricultural development and small scale industry.

Jaitley stressed on the “need for the World Bank to have a larger capital base, more activity and more projects”. He also stated that its role could be expanded in areas like social sector – education and health, agricultural development, small-scale industry and handlooms etc.

He was speaking at a meeting with a group of executive directors (EDs) of the World Bank Group here on Thursday, to discuss the performance of the latter’s projects in India to various policy issues related to its financing.

Amid weaker outlook across the globe, Jaitley said that India’s experience of strong economic growth, comfortable price situation, low current account deficit, and adherence to path of fiscal recovery have projected it as an outpost of opportunity for global investors.

The Indian economy is estimated to register 7.6 per cent growth in 2015-16, notwithstanding contraction of global exports and two consecutive years of shortfall in monsoon, he said.

Jaitley said that the focus of the government is on areas like non-conventional power generation, sanitation campaign, electrification of villages, major and minor irrigation projects and rural housing for all.

Highlighting the various macroeconomic variables favorable to India, he pointed-out good monsoon forecast, political reform process and low current oil prices as the key drivers of economic growth.

The fall in global oil prices has greatly benefitted India in the recovery process, he said.

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