India may step up aid to neighbours

India may step up aid to neighbours

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas’ mantra is set to be the central theme of New Delhi’s renewed push to support development projects in the neighbouring countries.

With China seeking to expand its geopolitical influence in South Asia, India is likely to step up its development assistance to neighbours in the coming months.

“The government is internally focused on ‘Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas’ for taking development across India and to all Indians, but also wants to take it beyond our borders,” Gopal Baglay, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson, told reporters here.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to New Delhi earlier this month saw India pledging a soft-loan of almost Rs 32,000 crore for the neighbouring country.

It is the single biggest soft-loan New Delhi has pledged for any foreign country at one go. The two governments have already identified as many as 17 development projects to be taken up across Bangladesh with credit line from India.

New Delhi also hosted Nepal’s president Vidya Devi Bhandari this month and reaffirmed its commitment to support development projects, especially the cross-border connectivity projects.

A meeting between Modi and Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in New Delhi this week was followed by signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in economic projects.  India also offered a joint venture to develop and operate an oil storage facility of World War II vintage at Trincomalee in eastern Sri Lanka.

Building connectivity
“When we are cooperating with our neighbours, building connectivity and taking development cooperation projects, working for a better future and shared prosperity, it takes the ‘Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas’ naturally to our neighbourhood first and foremost and of course rest of the world whoever wish to partner with us,” Baglay said.
DH News Service

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