More reports on: Economy - general

World Bank pledges $1 bn to PM's Swachh Bharat campaign

21 January 2015

The World Bank plans to invest at least $1 billion in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Swachh Bharat campaign, its country director for India Onno Ruhl said on Tuesday.

In an interaction with CNBC-TV18, Ruhl said the Washington-based global lender is working on a plan to support the implementation of one of the PM's pet projects.

''A swachh Bharat is truly very important because one of the three factors that we look at in terms of opportunities is: do people live in an environment of adequate sanitation; and it is an incredibly important thing to determine what the likely outcome of the life of the child can there be whether girl or a boy, girl even more important than boy. So, we are very keen in supporting,'' he said.

''In fact we are working with the government on a specific programme where we would support the Swachh Bharat programme in the low income states in India, a well-known group of states where the challenge is the biggest, using our existing programme in rural water supply but shifting focus to rural sanitation, rolling it out to all these states and helping in particular with monetary evaluation, making sure that we don't just built toilets but make sure that we build incentives for people to use toilets and that the system actually is results based.''

He said the government ''at the highest level'' had asked the Bank to prepare the programme speedily, and that they had teams ''working flat out day and night to support''.

He added that discussions were still ongoing, but the amount pledged ''will be no less than $1 billion''.

He said the Bank's focus would be on supporting implementation and behavioural change.


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