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'Birth of the bank biggest achievement of BRICS summit'

Last updated on: March 28, 2013 00:26 IST

Pravin Gordhan, the finance minister of South Africa, talks about a few unresolved points of the BRICS Bank which was born at the summit in spite of several crucial issues still under debate.

He spoke exclusively to Rediff.com’s Sheela Bhatt, who travelled with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the BRICS Summit in Durban.

Excerpts from the interview

It seems there are many unresolved issues.

There are areas for negotiations. For example, where should the resident of the bank be?

The international banks were not created overnight. There are legal and financial processes. Let’s not anticipate too much. Keep few things informal. The teams from all the BRICS countries that have worked on the bank have done very well.

Give us a couple of months to work on the details. By the time we go to Brazil we will produce concrete results.

 When will the bank be operational?

After the Brazilian summit.  (March 2014)

How much money will each country put in?

We are working on the details but the global figure is known.

Will you say the formation of BRICS bank is still at the primary stage or is it on track?

No, no. A lot of work has been done. As I said, the bank is a complex instrument. It takes time.

So when will the actual birth of BRICS bank take place.

Today is its birthday. The birth of BRICS bank has taken place. Our leaders have said in the summit that we are establishing the bank. Now we will have to put the nuts and bolts together and work out the details.

The birth of the BRICS bank is the biggest achievement of the summit at Durban.

All the leaders have said they want to improve the life of the people. We want to improve our economic prospects. We need a sustainable model of development. We know that infrastructure plays a key role.  

What are the main differences over the BRICS bank?

No, no. We only believe in getting agreements. You saw the agreements today.

Do BRICS members in South Africa and Brazil have issue of, say, voting rights because China and Russia are much bigger economies?

Those details we have not worked out.

Then, what has been worked out in the Durban meeting?

A lot of things have been worked out. A lot more needs to be worked out. I will only say that we have launched the bank and we are going ahead. 

Will it be on the lines of the World Bank or will it be like a private bank?

It will be an inter-governmental organisation.   

There is confusion about the actual amount of capital to start the bank.

We will have substantial and sufficient amount to meet the kind of challenges we are talking about. I am not in a position now to announce the figure of capitalisation.

The work is in an advanced stage. We are talking about it. First we will have to fix the total and then we will work out how much each will contribute.   

Sheela Bhatt in Durban