Amid a weak outlook across the globe, India's experience of strong economic growth, a comfortable price situation, low current account deficit and adherence to the fiscal recovery path have projected it as an outpost of opportunity for global investors, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday.
Calling for an expansion of the World Bank's role in social sector areas like education and health, agricultural development, small-scale industry and handlooms, Jaitley said, ''There is need for the World Bank to have a larger capital base, more activity and more projects.''
He was speaking at a meeting with a group of rxecutive directors of the World Bank Group in Delhi. The discussions held ranged from the performance of ongoing World Bank projects in India to various policy issues related to the World Bank Group financing.
Jaitley pointed out that the Indian economy is estimated to register 7.6 per cent growth in 2015-16, notwithstanding contraction of global exports and two consecutive years of shortfall in monsoon. ''India has become an outpost of opportunity for global investors,'' he said.
Jaitley reiterated that the focus of the government is on areas like non-conventional power generation, a nation-wide sanitation campaign, electrification of villages, major and minor irrigation projects and rural housing for all, among others.
He also highlighted the various macroeconomic variables favourable to India - a good monsoon forecast, political reform process and the current low oil prices. All these, he said, were the key drivers of economic growth.
Emphasising the macro-economic benefit that India is experiencing due to the fall in oil prices, he stated that the fall in global oil prices during the time when India was recovering from the impact of the global financial crisis, has greatly benefitted India in the recovery process.
Talking about the role of the World Bank Group in world development, Jaitley stressed on the need for the Bank to have a larger capital base, more activity and more projects. He also pointed out that '' role of World Bank Group could be expanded in areas like social sector - education and health, agricultural development, small-scale industry and handlooms etc.''
A group of nine World Bank Executive Directors is currently on a six day official visit to India as part of their South Asian Region visit, during which they will also visit Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
While in India, their visit will cover meetings with senior government officials and evaluating the implementation of World Bank projects in Agra, Bhubaneswar and Jaipur.