Retaliating to the Reagan administration's decision to make a sharp cut in its contributions to the International Development Association--the World Bank's soft-loan agency--some nations are considering pulling their own contributions out of IDA and setting up a parallel "special fund" to be administered by IDA.
The key difference would be that loans from the new fund could be used only to make purchases in the countries that gave the money or got it, thus "freezing the United States out," as one source put it. Those promoting the scheme will raise it Monday and Tuesday at the World Bank, hoping it leads to pressure on the Reagan administration from U.S. companies that would face the loss of those sales to Third World countries now financed by the regular IDA pool.
Next week's meeting has been called by Vice President for Finance Moeen Quereshi to deal with the IDA "crisis." The participants will be the deputies to the national governors for the World Bank. The U.S. governor is Treasury Secretary Donald Regan.
The IDA crisis has arisen because the Reagan administration decided to cut its contribution to the lending agency from an expected
.08 billion level in fiscal 1982 to $700 million. Since other nations, by pre-arrangement, are entitled to reduce their own shares in ratio to the U.S. cut, the IDA loan managers have been forced to reduce their program for fiscal 1982 from $4.1 billion to $2.6 billion.
The United States plans to make major slashes--30 to 45 percent in real terms--in subsidized aid to Third World nations in future years. The impact of this policy turn will be discussed at length at the World Bank-IMF policy meetings in Helsinki in May and at the heads-of-state summit in Paris in June.
The idea for a "special account," or parallel IDA fund, The Washington Post learned, will be pushed at next week's meeting of the IDA deputies by the Netherlands and other major donors.