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India proposes working group on BRICs bank

Washington: India has proposed setting up of a working group on the feasibility of a BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) developmental bank, the decision on which was taken at their recent summit meeting in New Delhi.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee made the proposal at a meeting of BRICS finance ministers held here on the sidelines of the Spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

"I propose that a Working Group be set up comprising representatives from our finance ministries, central banks and other experts co-chaired by India (as the current BRICS chair) and South Africa (as the next BRICS chair)," Mukherjee announced.

"The Working Group may decide on its own composition, work plan and processes and report back to us by our next meeting in November 2012, so that we are in a position to report back to the Leaders by the next BRICS Summit," the Finance Minister said.

He said BRICS nations agree that the global financing safety nets should be strengthened.
"The IMF recently made an assessment of a shortfall of about USD 1.1 trillion in the global firewall to be raised jointly by eurozone countries and the IMF," he said.

Noting that IMF and European countries are now approaching IMFC members for additional resources, Mukherjee said BRICS need to take a view on whether such an important matter needs to be rushed through and if we should not insist that adequate time be provided to us to take a decision in the above regard.

"There is also the matter of disappointing progress in discussions on the Quota Formula and other aspects of IMF Governance Reforms. We must consider whether a strong message needs to be sent on the need to move quickly with Governance Reforms and discussions on the Quota Formulae," he said.

Mukherjee said BRICS regard the surveillance function of the Fund as most crucial and pre-emptive in the context of threats to stability, both global and national.

"For surveillance to be effective, it is vital that it is even-handed, candid and unbiased so as to gain traction and legitimacy with members. There must also be consistency between multilateral and bilateral surveillance.

"We expect the ongoing surveillance reform to address these issues to better serve its membership," he said.

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