Expand role in social sector projects: Jaitley to World Bank

New Delhi: Pitching for the World Bank to have a larger capital base, finance minister Arun Jaitley has asked the multilateral lending institution to expand its role in social sector projects including on education and health.
Addressing a group of nine World Bank executive directors, currently on a visit to India, Jaitley said there is a need for “the World Bank to have a larger capital base, more activity and more projects”.
Jaitley also said India has become an “outpost of opportunity for global investors” with its strong economic growth.
“Amid weaker outlook across the globe, India’s experience of strong economic growth, comfortable price situation, low current account deficit (CAD), and adherence to path of fiscal recovery have projected it as an outpost of opportunity for global investors,” he said during his meeting with the World Bank executive directors here on Thursday.
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.
He also said the role of the World Bank Group could be expanded in areas like social sector – education and health, agricultural development, small-scale industry and handlooms etc, as per a statement issued on Friday.
On the focus of the present government, the finance minister said that areas like non-conventional power generation, the nation-wide sanitation campaign, electrification of villages in India, major and minor irrigation projects and rural housing for all among others are priorities.
Highlighting the various macroeconomic variables favorable to India, he said good monsoon forecast, political reform process and low current oil prices as the key drivers of economic growth.
The fall in global oil prices during the time when India was recovering from the impact of global financial crisis, has greatly benefitted India in the recovery process, he said.