World Bank Current Affairs - 2020

Finance Minister announces 102 lakh crore rupees project

On December 31, 2019, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman announced 102 lakh crore worth projects to be implemented in next 5 years. During the announcement, she also released the report of Task Force on National Infrastructure Pipeline for 2019-2025.

Highlights

The infrastructure projects are to be introduced in railways, power, urban, irrigation, health and education. These projects will help India achieve its goal of 5 trillion-dollar economy by 2025. Currently, the GDP of India is 2.72 trillion USD and is growing at the rate of 6.81%

Currently 25 lakh crore rupees energy projects have been lined up. In railway sector, 14 lakh crore rupees of projects are currently being implemented and in health sector 20 lakh crore rupees projects have been lined up. Apart from this, 3 lakh crore rupees projects will be added to pipeline sector.

Significance

Off late, several international financial organizations have been projecting a decline in the growth rate of India. The IMF projected India’s growth rate at 6.1% in 2019 and the world bank projected India’s growth rate at 6%. These projected growth rates were lower than the previous growth rates of the country. Therefore, these new economical measures are important to boost the economy and help India achieve its target.

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.