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CMP comes in for praise from Wolfensohn

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Mr James D. Wolfensohn, President, World Bank, with Mr P. Chidambaram, Finance Minister, and Dr. Rakesh Mohan, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, after a luncheon meeting in the Capital on Wednesday. — Kamal Narang

New Delhi , Nov. 17

WHEN one thinks of globalisation, the thought of India and China comes to the mind first, according to the President of the World Bank Group, Mr James D. Wolfensohn.

Talking to newspersons here on Wednesday, Mr Wolfensohn said that the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) document of the present Government was a "fantastic" document that encapsulated a variety of issues ranging from national harmony to poverty alleviation and the ways to unleash the creative. He commended India for the progress it had made over the years and said that when he first visited India a few decades ago, half of the population was under poverty line.

In 1996, the percentage of population below the poverty line was 36 per cent, which has further come down to 26 per cent at present, he said.

The literacy level has also improved in the last few years, he said.

He said that in today's world, India is regarded as central to all major global issues like population, environment, stability of the region and entrepreneurship.

The World bank President had called upon the Finance Minister, Mr P Chidambaram earlier during the day and is scheduled to meet the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh on Thursday. "I had talks about providing $3 billion to India for the next few years. India is not short of resources but it is the quality of assistance and projects which is important," Mr Wolfensohn said.

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