ADB plans to extend$9 bn loan over 3 yrs

Bank plans to boost India's infrastructure

ADB plans to extend$9 bn loan over 3 yrs

The Asian Development Bank on Wednesday said it would provide up to $7-9 billion loan to India over the next three years.

“The ADB’s operations for India will maintain high level of lending, amounting to a total of $ 7-9 billion over the next three years,” ADB president Takehiko Nakao said here.

Besides, the multilateral funding agency will provide around $30 million for technical assistance grants, especially for building institutions and capacity at the state as well as the local levels, he said.

Nakao, who is on two-day official visit, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and discussed macroeconomic situation and the ADB’s funding programme to boost infrastructure sector.

During the meeting, he emphasised that the ADB would help India accelerate infrastructure development, boost manufacturing, improve skills of the young people to enhance their employability, expand trade through regional cooperation, and promote private sector activities.

Stressing that India had a potential to grow at 10 per cent, Nakao said its economy was expected to expand at 5.5 per cent in the current fiscal. For the next fiscal, it has projected a better growth rate of 6.3 per cent in 2015-16.

“To get back to a high growth path of 8 to 9 per cent, it is also crucial to implement investment-friendly reforms being initiated by the government,” he said.

Easing the regulatory burden on industry by eliminating red tape and promoting inter-agency coordination, enabling single window clearance mechanisms, and reviewing land acquisition procedures should be part of the national strategy to attract local and foreign investors, he said.

“Together with efforts to build world class infrastructure and skills, these steps will create the job opportunities needed to absorb India’s youthful and growing labour force and ensure that growth is inclusive,” he added. 

During the meeting with Nakao, Modi said that FDI is a focus area which he is committed to, according to an official statement.

He said “Make in India” is not a slogan for improvement but a firm commitment and the country would demonstrate the commitment through actions.

“The ADB president was particularly touched by the prime minister’s emphasis on change, removing silos within government, improving co-ordination and focusing on results,” said the statement.

The prime minister remarked that he has had a good experience with  the ADB in Gujarat during the earthquake reconstruction, it said. Nakao said he was trying to do the same in ADB although it is a much smaller organisation, it added.

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