World Bank Current Affairs - 2019

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World Bank’s 300 million USD plan to Develop Kolkata

The World Bank has submitted a master plan to develop logistics infrastructure of Kolkata metropolitan area. The bank is to invest 300 million USD in the project. The Government entities participating in the deal includes CII and the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation.

The focus of the project is to be on construction of rail, road, industrial parks. The aim of the project is to improve competitiveness, increase employment.

Recent Infrastructural Developments in the region

  • The West Bengal Government has increased its infrastructure spending by five times in 2019 as compared to 2011.
  • The warehousing in the state has increased by 191%
  • The Inland Water Transport World Bank Project, Asian High way project, Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor are the current prominent infrastructural developments in the region

Significance

  • Kolkata and West Bengal are strategically placed. It connects India and South East Asia in terms of infrastructure. This will help to achieve India’s interests in the ASEAN countries and also its Act East Policy.
  • Location of Kolkata also enables trade and commerce to neighboring countries like Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh
  • Kolkata has the potential to become the hub of India’s north-eastern region.

World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business

India was raked 63rd in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking released on October 24, 2019. The ranking comes when the leading financing institutions including RBI, World Bank and IMF are slashing country’s growth forecasts. In 2014, India was ranked 142 among 190 countries. As compared to 2018, India moved up 14 places in the ranking mainly due to several reforms in the trade and commerce sector.

Highlights

  • India for the third time in a row was among the top 10 performers on the list.
  • The other top 10 performers other than India were Saudi Arabia at rank 62, Togo in the African continent at rank 97, Jordan (75), Tajikistan, Pakistan at rank 108, Kuwait (83), China (31) and Nigeria (131)
  • In 2015, India set a goal to join top 50 economies on ease of doing business ranking by 2020.
  • The experts believe that resolving insolvency with the Bankruptcy law, tax reforms, trading across borders, initiatives like Make in India are the major reasons for the leap in the rank

Ease of Doing Business

The ranking is framed based on 10 indices. It includes starting a business, registering a property, dealing with construction permits, getting credit, paying taxes, enforcing contracts, trading across borders, protecting investors, etc. The first set of ranking was prepared by the world Bank in 2003.