World Bank president praises state govt

Bhubaneswar: Pledging to step up financial support for state sustainable development, World Bank on Wednesday hailed the state for achieving fiscal stability and poverty reduction.

In view of the needs to pursue sustainable and inclusive development, knowledge and financial support for state would be stepped up, World Bank President Robert B Zoellick said here.

Zoellick, who met chief minister Naveen Patnaik, with his discussions focused on how the World Bank group, which had a 600 million dollar programme in the state, can better support the state government in addressing developmental challenges.

He said the state had taken significant steps to combat poverty and to ensure social justice but some challenges remain in areas of agricultural productivity and providing access to infrastructure and public services.

The sectors identified for possible future focus include water management, urban water and mining, he said adding the bank could also assist the state in agro, micro, small and medium industries and downstream industries.

Stating that World Bank was proud of its three-decade old partnership with state, he said despite the state`s success in reducing poverty and raising growth, it is a low income state and needs more progress.

Moreover, Tribal and ethnic minorities are there, he said adding though the state had immense manpower, it needs to enhance its capacity.