'It is imperative to end poverty from Uttar Pradesh': World Bank President
New Delhi, Mar. 13 : World Bank President Jim Yong Kim on Wednesday said the core objective of the international financial institution is to eradicate poverty from the world, while underscoring that in a bid to meet this long-term goal it is imperative to eliminate poverty from Uttar Pradesh where eight percent of world's poor people live in.
Addressing the media here, Kim said India and World Bank are keen to end the 'extreme poverty' at the earliest.
"India is the largest partner of the World Bank group. We have embraced many of the government's priorities in the years passed. One priority we share is ending extreme poverty as soon as possible. I travelled yesterday to Uttar Pradesh, which you know has more than 200 million people. If it were a country, it would be the fifth largest country in the world," said Kim.
"Uttar Pradesh also account to an estimated 70 million people living below the poverty line of a $25 a day. That means eight percent of the world's poorest people live in Uttar Pradesh. If we were to end extreme poverty, we need to end poverty in Uttar Pradesh and all states in India. This will be one of the key central long-term goals of the World Bank," he added.
The World Bank President also focused on the need to include the private sector to spur the country's economic growth and the need to develop the infrastructure sector.
"I am also impressed with the government's strategy to include the private sector in its outreach to help spur growth in the country. One example that I heard about from Finance Minister P. Chidambaram concerned a one trillion dollar gap in infrastructure funding that this country needs, needs to fill in the years ahead," said Kim.
"The minister told me that this is a job that would include work and planning from both the public and private sectors. It also I believe, strongly would include contributions from the World Bank group in the years ahead. Both the minister and I know well that private sector growth is the engine for job creation," he added.
The World Bank President, who is presently on a three-visit to India along with his delegation, met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow yesterday.