BRICS finance ministers agree on bank

Durban, March 26 (IANS) Finance ministers of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa have agreed on a BRICS bank on the lines of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that will address the development needs of emerging and poor economies.

“It’s done,” South Africa’s Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan told reporters here after a meeting with his counterparts from the other four BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China. Finance Minister P. Chidambaram represented India at the meeting.
“We made very good progress,” Gordhan said.
Gordhan, however, left the finer details of the proposed institution to be announced by the BRICS leaders — where India is led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh — after their two-day summit concludes Wednesday.
The proposal for a bank, with a collective foreign exchange reserve and a fund for financing developmental projects, was mooted to counter the influence of other global institutions like the World Bank, which are more tuned to pursuing policies set by the West.
The meeting Tuesday is understood to have accepted the recommendations of an expert committee set up in this regard.
The five-member bloc collectively accounts for about 40 percent of the world’s population, 30 percent of the world’s land mass, 20 percent of the gross domestic product in real terms and 26 percent of purchasing power.
(Arvind Padmanabhan can be contacted at [email protected])