JICA: ready to fund projects if routed through FinMin

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the external funding agency of the Japanese government, is ready to fund new infra projects in Karnataka, if the proposals are routed via the finance ministry.

In an interaction with DH, JICA India Office Chief representative Katsuo Matsumoto said the agency is happy to help the state government in infrastructure projects, especially decongesting Bengaluru.

"New project funding is a policy issue and it is to be discussed with our foreign ministry, finance ministry and ministry of economy. These discussions should be pushed by the Indian Prime Minister and supported by the Indian Finance Ministry," he said. 

Once these requests come via official channels, the three Japanese government ministries will coordinate and take a final decision. "If the decision is taken at the Japanese government level, then JICA will be in a position to fund those projects," he said.

Matsumoto's comments came in the backdrop of the state government's proposed plans for taking up an elevated road corridor in Bengaluru, high-speed rail link to the airport and elevated peripheral ring road.  

He also pointed out that the elevated road project will really help decongest the city. "We have developed elevated corridors way back in 1965 ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. This kind of a project is also successful in Jakarta. It will definitely help Bengaluru," he said.

He also said the investments are new ideas and JICA is not in a position to comment on them. The agency is already funding three projects in Karnataka — Cauvery Water Supply Scheme (CWSS), Bangalore Metro Phase-1 and a power transmission project. "More than 10 projects are completed in the state and we are satisfied with the repayment mechanism of the state government," he said.

The Japanese agency has already committed to the 65-km-long eight-lane Peripheral Ring Road (PRR). On BMRCL 2nd phase funding, he said JICA is ready to take it up. 

In addition to lending, JICA is also giving grant-in-aid of 1.2 billion yen for Intelligent Transport System (ITS) for Bengaluru. As part of biodiversity conservation and afforestation project, JICA has already invested Rs 2,000 crore in Karnataka in two phases and the third phase with Rs 1,000 crore will start soon, Matsumoto added.

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JICA: ready to fund projects if routed through FinMin

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