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India's Finance Minister meets with World Bank President

September 27, 2002
Washington, DC

The Union Finance Minister Mr. Jaswant Singh had a meeting with the World Bank President Mr. Wolfensohn this morning.

The World Bank President assessed India's economic development positively and said that India was a critical player in global development.

Discussions focused on the fiscal situation, the need to intensify cooperation in primary education, increase investment in infrastructure development in India and strengthen civil society relationships.

The Finance Minister welcomed the cooperation of the Bank and reiterated that, within the dynamic federal structure of the Indian system of governance Government was giving top priority to primary education. He said that there was growing public demand for schools in rural areas and both the Government and civil society organizations were working together in this field.

The World Bank President said that the Bank was keen to provide greater support to the Government's programme for universalizing primary education.

The Minister apprised the World Bank President of the fiscal situation emphasizing that industrial production and exports had shown encouraging growth and inflation was under control. However, he said that Government was aware of the need to lower fiscal deficit and improve the investment climate in the country. In particular, the Government was considering steps to further raise the level of domestic savings.

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Sunil Lal, Counsellor (Press & Information) at (202) 939-7042