The Indian Economy Overview

The World Bank and India

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The Power-Structure

The WB and IMF have similar governing structures, located at a common venue in Washington. The jointly held annual meeting is a family get-together of sorts.

The governing structure of the Bank is not democratic. It is not based on the principle of "one country one vote", but the "one dollar, one vote" system. Votes are weighted according to the amount of money each country puts into the Bank. Each country has 250 votes plus one additional vote for every share that it holds, each worth US $1,00,000. Members buy shares by subscribing money to the Bank. For any amendment in the rule requires 85% of the votes. The US being the largest shareholder with 19.63% votes can veto any amendment.

Votes in the World Bank
Country % of total votes
USA 19.63
Japan 9.43
Germany 7.29
UK 6.99
France 4.76
China 2.55
India 2.55

While, China and India together have only 5.10% of the total votes, despite representing 36% of the world's population. The rich countries have effective say in policy matters.  

The Organization

The World Bank has the following organizational structures: 

Board of Governors

Under the World Bank's Articles of Agreement, all of the Bank's powers are vested in a Board of Governors, which has one representative from each member country. A nation's Governor typically is that country's Minister of Finance or equivalent, acting ex-officio. While certain important decisions are reserved for the Board of Governors, it meets only once a year. Regular and routine operations are conducted by its Executive Directors [EDs] and the President. 

Executive Directors

As provided for in the Articles of Agreement, the board consists of 22 EDs, with alternates. The five countries having the largest number of shares of capital stock (currently USA, Japan, Germany, France, and United Kingdom), each have a permanently appointed Executive Director while the remaining Executive Directors are elected by the governors representing the other member countries. While the Executive Directors owe allegiance to the Bank's Articles of Agreement, they also are subject to the wishes of the governments they represent.

World Bank President

The World Bank president is the chairman of the Board of Executive Directors and serves as the chief of the Bank's operating staff. The President is appointed by the Executive Directors. The President conducts, under the direction of the executive directors, the ordinary business of the Bank. The current president of the World Bank is Lewis T. Preston, who succeeded Barber B. Conable in September 1991. All the presidents of World Bank have been Americans, reflecting the initial and continuing influence of the United States on the Bank.

Regional Groups and other Offices

The officers and staff of the World Bank are divided into six regional groups, along with various administrative sectors. The regional grouping are: 1. Africa; 2. East Asia and the Pacific; 3. South Asia; 4. Europe and Central Caribbean. Each country group is headed by a Bank vice president. In addition to the regional groupings, there are nine operational sections covering such areas as accounting, economics and personnel, and a number of international field offices.

The World Bank's legal department is separate from the regional groups, but its lawyers are assigned to a specific country or operational sections within regional groups.


For further details contact:PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) 142, Maitri Apt, Plot No 28, Indraprastha Ext. Delhi 110092. India. Ph: 2432054 Fax: 2224233 email: kaval@pirg.unv.ernet.in


[World Bank in India] [Prev] [Next] [Index] [Chapter Pages: 1 2 3 4 ]

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