World Bank Sets Up Task Force On MDB Reform Plan

Syllabus:  GS-III, Economy; GS-II, International Relations;

Subject: Economy;

Topic: Global Financial Architecture, Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate;

Issue: World Bank reform on MDBs;

Context: The World Bank has established a task force dedicated to examining recommendations for enhancing Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs).


  • This move follows the suggestions made by an independent experts’ group during India’s G20 presidency, as announced by World Bank Group President Ajay Banga.

Key Aspects of the Proposed Reforms:

  • Greater Coordination: The panel emphasizes the need for greater coordination among stakeholders, including national governments, to develop unified goals and policies.
    • Aim to resolve multiple coordination failures among domestic and international stakeholders, both public and private.
  • Changing Perception and Practices: The current perception of MDBs as bureaucratic and risk-averse is seen as a barrier to private sector involvement, which is crucial for ramping up financing.

Rationale behind Proposed Reforms:

  • Addressing Global Challenges: The climate crisis and other global issues require mechanisms for global-scale action, particularly in emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs).
  • Aligning with National Priorities: The expert group recommends that MDBs align more closely with the developmental priorities of individual nations.
  • Enhancing Private Sector Engagement: A shift is suggested towards greater private sector involvement in MDB operations, moving away from the culture of limited interaction between private and sovereign financing arms.

MDBs’ Traditional Lending in Countries like India:

  • Role in India’s Development: MDBs have been instrumental in financing key infrastructure projects in India, often with longer gestation periods.
  • World Bank’s Commitments: Since its establishment in 1944, the World Bank has committed $97.6 billion to India, with significant portions in public administration, agriculture, and transport.
  • Asian Development Bank’s Involvement: Formed in 1969, the ADB has committed $59.7 billion to India, focusing on transport, energy, and urban infrastructure.
  • Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s Financing: The AIIB, established in 2016, has approved $9.9 billion in financing for India, with a focus on transport, energy, and economic resilience.
  • European Investment Bank’s Contributions: Since 1958, the EIB has committed Euro 4.5 billion to India, primarily in the transport and energy sectors.


  • Implications of the Recommendations: The proposed shift in MDB operations could lead to more effective and targeted development financing, aligning closely with the specific needs and priorities of individual countries.
  • Potential for Enhanced Global Impact: By addressing coordination challenges and increasing private sector engagement, MDBs could play a pivotal role in meeting global development goals and addressing critical challenges like the climate crisis.


What is Multilateral Development Bank (MDB)?

  • MDB is a financial institution established by multiple member countries and falls under international law. E.g., International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank etc.
  • Objectives of MDB: Stabilizing the global financial system during the time of crisis; Providing long-term financing; Providing lower-cost financing

Focus area: How can World Bank and other bodies contribute towards climate finance, critical for developing and LDCs to make a smooth transition to lower carbon emissions without compromising on growth.

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