India in talks for World Bank loans

A year after promising a $1 billion loan to clean up the Ganga, the World Bank is in talks with India to fund new environment-related project, environment minister Jairam Ramesh said.

“Our government is clear about the need to reflect and factor in ecological concerns into our growth process so that the benefits of growth can be achieved without critically straining the environment,” he said. The World Bank, which provides capital loans to developing countries, is already supporting a $220 million (Rs 1,000 crore) program for coastal management and is preparing a $1 billion loan to support cleaning up the Ganga.

Ramesh said his ministry is in consultations with the Bank for further loans to strengthen the various state pollution control boards to expand their monitoring and “data management mechanisms.”

The ministry is also exploring ways of incorporating World Bank help in creating programs to protect hotspots of flora and fauna which will include supporting the nearby communities to earn their livelihoods.