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Cabinet allows RBI to invest $4.3 bn in World Bank bonds

The government on Thursday permitted RBI to invest $4.3 billion in special bonds of the World Bank, which would raise the agency's lending limit to India by a similar amount to $ 21.8 billion for infrastructure investment.

The decision to allow Reserve Bank to enter into a special private placement bond agreement with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) was approved by the Union Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.The additional borroww ing space would enable government of India to commit new projects with the World Bank assistance, an official statement said.

'The proposal will enable leveraging World Bank's knowledge base and global reach for transfer of knowledge, adoption of good practices, reforms of processes and systems and capacity building,' it added.

Currently the limit for a single borrower of the World Bank is $17.5 billion and the government, the statement said, gives preference to projects in low income and special category States, as well as to projects aimed at fostering inclusive growth.

India's headroom for borrowing from the World Bank is reaching the limit and investing in these bonds will widen the scope for more loans, a Finance Ministry official had earlier said.
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