Financial support to big countries a challenge: WB

Bhubaneswar: Extending financial support to large countries in India is a huge challenge before the World Bank, its president Robert B Zoellick on Wednesday said.

"I believe that one of the challenges for World Bank would be to continue and find ways to extend and stretch its financial support for larger client countries," Zoellick told reporters here.

Stating that India is a "good example," the World Bank president said he would take up the matter relating to extension of financing to India with the Finance Minister in a couple of days.

Zoellick said he would discuss with the finance minister on how to use financial resources is guaranteed and other support, he said claiming that the World Bank is a "good partner" of India during financial crisis.

He said replying a question on the World Bank`s limit of 17.5 billion dollar funding to India.
Zoellick said World Bank had supported India by USD 9 billion during the financial crisis.

Stating that there is a limit for any individual country, Zoellick said: "We actually raised the limit for India alone." Therefore, India is the only country in the world that gets more than the limit amount.

Besides USD 17.5 billion under IBRD, Zoellick said India also availed funds under IDA which is for 79 poorest countries. "As the income level of India increases, we are trying to look to see and work with donors IDA further. We can work transition agreement to keep additional finance above their amount in IDA," he said.

This apart, Zoellick pointed out that India has so far received USD 1 billion this year for private sector out of total commitment of USD 3 billion.

"I personally believe that one of the challenges for the WB would be to continue, find ways to extend and stretch its financial support for larger client countries," he said.

Stating that India was a good example, the president said its is important for WB to be good partner. "So my personal sense is to expand our resources for India," Zoellick said.