The environment ministry has again said that it would not seek loans and financial support from World Bank to protect the tiger.
The ministry had, coinciding with the recent visit of World Bank president Robert B Zoellick to India, begun to rethink its year-old position on the offer from the Bank to fund activities under the National Tiger Conservation Authority. But on Wednesday, with most of tiger conservationists in the country protesting the move, minister Jairam Ramesh decided to shelve the proposal yet again.
In June 2008, World Bank launched a global Tiger Conservation Initiative. It had approached the Indian government at that point asking it to join in. After deliberations within the government, in which the PMO too was involved, it was decided that the government did not require either technical assistance or funds of the Bank.
The government had considered World Bank’s chequered history with tiger conservation and relocation and decided that it would not be advisable to take up the Bank on its offer. The Bank, on the other hand, was viewed within the government as more than eager to get India on board, as it would look odd if the country with the largest wild tiger population in the world did not join the initiative.