WB Prez should be appointed on merit: BRICS

Washington: Seeking an end to US dominance on the World Bank, BRICS has said that the appointment of President of the multilateral agency should be based on merit and "not on nationality".

World Bank President Robert Zoellick is stepping down in June and he has decided not to seek a second term. Since the setting up of World Bank after the end of the Second World War, Americans have held the top job at World Bank, while the chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been from Europe.

Representatives of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), who met on the sidelines of a G20 meeting in Mexico City, were of the opinion that the top World Bank job should be open to all countries. "Candidates should be based on merit and not on nationality," Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega told reporters in Mexico.

The BRICS nations may also field their candidate for the post of World Bank President to make a larger point that the merit and not nationality should be the criterion for selection.

Countries have to submit names for the top job by March 23. "It is time we break the traditions of the US and Europe sharing the two seats and amongst all of us we must try harder this time to find some consensus," South Africa`s Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan had said.

Although the Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is not attending the G-20 Ministerial meeting because of his preoccupation with the national Budget at home, India has taken a similar position at the time of selection of the IMF Managing Director. The US has stated that it would nominate a replacement candidate but has not yet said who it will be.

The World Bank provides development aid to poor countries and its president is one of the world`s top policy makers.