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World Bank chief lauds Gujarat growth model

PTI | Last Updated: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - 23:03

New Delhi: Lauding the Gujarat growth model, World Bank chief Jim Yong Kim on Wednesday said India's business standing will jump 50 places if the ranking is done on the basis of Gujarat.

The remark comes in the backdrop of India raising concerns with the World Bank over various indicators used in the ease of doing business report.

"If the ranking of India in doing business report was based just on Gujarat, they would improve 50 places in the doing business ranking.

"So, my hope is that what Modi did in Gujarat in improving business environment can be scaled up now to all of India and if that happens then India will rise quickly in rankings of doing business in India," he said here.

The World Bank group has been publishing annual 'Doing Business Report' since 2004. The report provides specific information on ease of doing business in 189 countries.

As per the latest report, India had slipped three notches to 134th spot.

Kim also acknowledged that there are many "legitimate critics" of doing business report.

"Doing business report has continuously evolved in the last 10 years...For example instead of survey doing in one city we will be doing two. If we have resources we will do more," he said.

Doing business report is an important tool, he said, adding that "it is not perfect. It does not cover everything thing. It is focused on ease of opening a business for small and medium enterprises."

Kim showered praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he was inspired by Modi's ambitious vision for India.

Earlier in the day, the World Bank Group President had a meeting with Modi to understand the vision of the new government.

"The meeting with the Prime Minister was one of the most inspiring ones that I have had in my two years in this job," Kim said.

"The Prime Minister reiterated his three most important goals-- skill, scale and speed. India is trying to do some really aspirational things and it is trying to do at huge scale very quickly.

"I was inspired by his extremely ambitious vision for India and we hope to play some role in achieving that goal," he added.

Later, Prime Minister Modi described the meeting with Kim as 'very fruitful.'

"We talked about the importance of scale and the need to work on a scale that inspires people and positively transforms their lives. We live in a world where speed matters. Quick execution is essential. Speeding up World Bank projects will surely increase the impact," Modi said.

"Rather than dollars, we are more interested in knowledge and expertise of World Bank," the Prime Minister said.

"I also suggested to Kim that the cleaning of the Ganga would be a very inspiring project for the World Bank," he said.

The World Bank chief said that it has already committed USD 1 billion for cleaning of river Ganga and may provide more money if required.

"If we can achieve the result. We have to first spent the first USD 1 billion that we have under books. We are making good progress on that. For now that enough money. If it progress well, we would be willing to look at subsequent money," he said.

First Published: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - 23:00
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