India not seen as a donor yet: Zoellick

NEW DELHI — The World Bank does not expect India to become a donor to its fund for poor nations for now as the country has the responsibility to improve the lives of its own 210 million poor, its president said yesterday.

By (Reuters)

Published: Sun 4 Nov 2007, 8:59 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 11:10 PM

Discussions are underway about replenishing the International Development Association (IDA) — the lending arm of the World Bank — and about how much each of the members should put in to ensure it can make loans to poorer countries.

"Many people in (the) United States and Europe and Japan see pictures of India with all the growth in information technology but it is also important for people to recognise that there are a lot of poor people in India," Robert Zoellick told reporters.

"I don't want to overstate India's responsibility in terms of financing others ... But over 10-15 years as India grows there will be more opportunities to help and that is where we should look to go for in the future."

India has been one of the most vocal emerging countries, pushing for changes in the International Monetary Fund, reflecting the rising economic strength of the developing world.

Zoellick said growth in Asia's third-largest economy had been quite impressive but the government should improve roads, ports and airports to sustain the momentum.

India has grown at an average annual rate of 8.6 per cent in the past four years, which has also choked its infrastructure.

"India has had exceptional progressive growth. In areas that might need some further development, one is infrastructure and the other is growth of skills," Zoellick said.

With India set for another year of 8 per cent growth, employers ranging from technology firms to financial service providers are complaining of talent shortages, rising vacancies and rapidly rising wages.

The World Bank says the world's second fastest growing major economy will need 2.3 million highly trained professionals by 2010 to maintain its share of the knowledge economy. If standards don't improve, it could face a shortfall of 500,000 workers. Zoellick said he had discussed the issue of climate change with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and on how India could help in global efforts to cut down emissions.

There have been tensions between developed and poorer industrialising nations over who should bear the burden over emissions, seen by scientists as vital to slow global warming and effects such as floods, droughts and rising sea levels.

"I talked with the prime minister yesterday about the base-line plan. And some work we can do globally on the issue of climate change. I think a number of developing countries are supportive but what they don't want is objection of traditional development," he said.

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