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Sri Lanka pitches for Saarc Bank

Source: PTI
November 06, 2014 19:20 IST
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Extending its support to Saarc Bank, Sri Lanka on Thursday said the proposed financial institution will help in alleviating poverty in the South Asian region.

"We have been supportive of that (formation of Saarc Bank) from the beginning when it was mooted," Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, said on the sidelines of India Economic Summit.

"We believe that, because we are like minded people in the region, it will have an impact ... Saarc Bank can offer block loans to banks which can be redistributed amongst the poorest sections. Bank can look at the prosperity in the region," he said.

Asked if it can become a reality, he said leaders may take a view on that in the next summit. "I hope so, it will be finally up to the leaders to endorse it," he said.

If agreed by member-countries, the bank would be the first for the eight-nation regional grouping - South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) - that will provide countries with access to capital to finance infrastructure for trade facilitation and development.

It will be on the lines of the $100 billion New Development Bank (NDB), announced by the BRICS grouping - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - in July.

While NDB, to be headquartered in Shanghai, will finance infrastructure and development projects across the developing world, the proposed South Asia Development Bank will focus on the eight SAARC nations - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

He further said the proposed bank would have lot of synergies in the region and can help finance infrastructure development of the region. 

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