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HomeLearnPolityInternational Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and its associated institutions a group are known as the World Bank. The Second World War damaged economies of the most of the countries particularly of those who were directly involved in the war. The global war had completely dislocated the multilateral trade and dislocated multilateral trade and had caused massive destruction of life and property. In 1945, it was realised to concentrate on reconstructing these war-affected economies in a planned way. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) was established in December 1945 with the IMF on the basis of the recommendation of Bretton Wood Conference. This is the reason why IMF and IBRD are called ‘Bretton Wood Twins’. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) started functioning in June 1946. World Bank and IMF are complementary institutions.
India is a member of four constituents of the World Bank Group i.e. IBRD, IDA, IFC, and MIGA (Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency) but not of its fifth institute ICSID (International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes).
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Objectives of International Bank for Reconstruction and Development

According to the Clause I of the agreement made at the time of establishment of World Bank, it was assigned the following objectives:
1. To Provide long-run capital to member countries for economic reconstruction and development. World Bank               provides capital mainly for following purposes –
(i) To rehabilitate war ruined economies (this objective is fully achieved)
(ii) To finance productive efforts according to peacetime requirement.
(iii) To develop resources and production facilities in underdeveloped countries.
2. To induce long-run capital investment for assuring BOP equilibrium and balanced development of international          trade. (This objective was adopted to increase the productivity of member countries and to improve                                economic condition and standard of living among them).
3. To promote capital investment in member countries in following ways:
(i) To provide guarantee on private loans and capital investment.
(ii) If private capital is not available even after providing the guarantee, then International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) provides loans for productive activities in considered conditions.
4. To provide the guarantee for loans granted to small and large units and other projects of member countries.
5. To ensure the implementation of development projects so as to bring about a smooth transference from a war-              time to the peace economy.

IMF Vs. World Bank

IMF and World Bank are Bretton Wood Twins. Both the institutions were established to promote international economic cooperation but a basic difference is found in the nature of economic assistance given by these two institutions. World Bank provides long term loans for balanced economic development while IMF provides short-term loans to member countries for eliminating BOP disequilibrium. Both these institutions are complementary to each other. The eminent world economist George Schultz had suggested in American Economic Association Conference in January 1995, for the merger of IMF and World Bank.

Membership of the World Bank and Voting Right

Generally, every member country of the IMF automatically becomes the member of World Bank. Similarly, any country which quit IMF automatically expelled from the World Bank’s membership. But under a certain provision, a country leaving the membership of IMF can continue its membership with World Bank. If 75% member of the bank gives their vote in its favour.
Any member country can be debarred from the membership of World Bank on following grounds:
1. Any member country can quit the bank simply by written notice to bank, but such country has to repay the granted     loans on terms and conditions decided at the time of sanctioning the loan.
2. Any country working against the guidelines of the bank can be debarred from membership by the board of governors.
Like IMF, World Bank has also two types of members: ‘founder members’ and ‘general members’ the world bank has 30 founder members who attained membership by December 31, 1945. India is also among these founder members. The countries joining the World Bank after December 13, 1945, come under the category of general members. At present total membership of the World Bank is 182. The voting right of the member country is determined on the basis of member country’s share in the total capital of the bank. Each member has 240 votes plus one additional vote for each 1,00,000 shares of the capital stock held.

Capital Resources of International Bank for Reconstruction and Development

The initial authorized capital of World Bank was $ 10,000 million, which was divided in 1 lakh share of $ 1 lakh each. The authorized capital of the bank has been increased from time to time with the approval of member countries. On June 30, 1996, the authorized capital of the bank was $ 188 billion out of which $ 180.6  billion (96% of total authorized capital) was issued to member country in the form of shares. Member countries repay the share amount to the world bank in following ways:
  1. Two percent of allotted shares are repaid in Gold, USD or SDR.
  2. Every member country is free to repay 18% of its capital share in its own currency.
  3. The remaining 80% share is deposited by member country only on demand by the World Bank.
Bank is managed by an elected President. On July 1, 2007, Robert B. Zoellick became the 11th President of the World Bank. The headquarter of World Bank is in Washington DC.
IDA (established on Septemeber 24, 1960) and IFC (established in July 1956) are the tow main associate institutions of International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). These institutions work under the supervision of World Bank. MIGA is also an associate institution in the World Bank group.

Banks Lending Operations

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) gives loan to members in any or more of the following ways:

1. By granting or participating in direct loans but its own funds.

2. By granting loans out of the fund raised in the market of a member or otherwise borrowed by the banks and

3. By guaranteeing the whole or part loans made by private investors through the investment channels.

Before  alone is made or guaranteed the bank ensure that the –
1. Project fro which the loan is asked has been carefully examined by the competent committee as regards the merits of the proposal.
2. The borrower has the reasonable prospect for the repayment of loans.
3. The loan is meant for productive purposes and
4. The loan is meant for reconstruction and development.

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Functions of International Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Presently, The World Bank is playing the main role of providing loans for development works to member countries, especially to under-developed countries. The World Bank provides long-term loans for various development projects of 5 to 20 years duration. The loan system of the bank can be explained with the help of following points:
1. Bank can grant loans to a member country up to 20% of its share in paid up capital.
2. Bank also provides the loan to private investors belonging to member countries on its own guarantee, but for this       loan private investors have to seek prior permission from those countries where the amount will be collected. For       such loans, the consent of that country is also required whose currency is given in loans. For granting such                    guarantee, the Bank charges 1% to 2% as service charge.
3. The quantum of loans, interest rate and term and conditions are determined by the Bank itself.
4. Generally, Bank grants loan for a particular project duly submitted by the member country.
5. The debtor nation has to repay either in reserve currencies or in the currency in which the loan was sanctioned.
Besides, granting loans for reconstruction and development, World Bank also provides various technical services to the member countries. For this purpose, the Bank has established ‘The Economic Development Institute’ and a Staff College in Washington.

Appraisal of the World Bank Activities

Bank has sanctioned 75% of its total loans to developing countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America while only 25% was given to developed nations of Europe. IFC, IDA, and MIGA were established as the associate institutions of the World Bank in extending financial assistance to member countries. Besides, the Bank also tried its best to coordinate the functioning of nations granting loans to underdeveloped countries. In 1958, the Bank played an important role in establishing ‘India Aid Club’ for providing specific economic assistance to India. It has now been renamed as ‘India Development Forum’. Such types of clubs and forums have also been established for other developing countries. The Bank has also established its mission in various developing countries for providing technical assistance for the development project in these countries. The Bank also takes the guidance of experts of various international institutions like FAO, WHO, UNIDO, UNESCO for providing assistance for various projects related to agriculture, education and water supply.
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