Poverty data: World Bank says no plan to trim lending to India

PTI Mumbai | Updated on March 22, 2012

The World Bank will not reduce financial assistance to India for poverty alleviation measures because of the recent official data that showed a decline in the number of poor people in the country.

The international funding agency takes a long-term view on its commitments and the poverty data released on Monday will not have any bearing on that commitment, World Bank Country Head, Mr N. Roberto Zagha, told PTI on the sidelines of an event here yesterday.

Mr Zagha said, however, that the Bank does use official data put out by Indian agencies while making its plans. “We are constantly analysing (data), and right now I don’t feel there will be any cut because the data has shown a reduction in poverty.”

The Washington-based multilateral lender envisages lending $14 billion for projects in the country between 2009 and 2012, according to the Bank’s country Web site.

According to the data by the Planning Commission, the number of people under the poverty line - whose daily consumption is below Rs 28.65 for urban centres and Rs 22.43 for rural areas - declined to 29.8 per cent in 2009-10, from 37.2 per cent in 2004.

Mr Zagha welcomed the Union Budget 2012-13 that was presented to Parliament last week, calling it “realistic”.

He said, however, that energy, uneducated labour force, increased urbanisation and regulatory issues are the challenges faced by the country at present and demand the added attention of policymakers.

Published on March 22, 2012

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