Ind never impose dev projects on any country: V K Singh

Indian Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh. PTI file photo

India has offered 262 concessional Lines of Credit (LOCs) amounting to USD 25.7 billion to 61 countries and it never imposes any developmental projects on any nation, Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh said on Tuesday.

He said India has granted LOCs to the countries mostly in Africa, South-East Asia, Central Asia, Latin America and small island nations, covering a range of sectors including clean energy.

The Union Minister was speaking at an event jointly organised by the Ministry of External Affairs, Exim Bank and International Solar Alliance with an aim to bring on one platform all stakeholders implementing various projects in the field of solar energy.

"India's model of developmental assistance is slightly different. We prefer that the countries which want assistance to identify their own projects. We don't want to impose any project on them," Singh said, in presence of diplomats from several countries which have been beneficiaries of Indian aid.

His comments are seen as an indirect reference to China which has been pumping in billions of dollars of investments into the African continent, with which India has been having a traditionally close relationship.

While talking about India's total assistance of USD 25.7 billion as LOCs, the minister did not specify any time period for implementation of the schemes under it.

Singh said India has set up project consultancy teams to speed up identifying of potential projects in the countries getting financial assistance from India.

"You can tell the project consultancy team that you want to prepare a DPR (Detailed Project Report) for a project. Give it to us, take the LOC. Have it implemented the way you want to," he said.

In the last few years, the MEA has taken initiatives to speed up implementation of various developmental projects in Africa, Central Asia and South East Asia.

Speaking separately after the event, Exim Bank Managing Director David Rasquinha said some amount of India's LOC can be used for solar energy projects.

"We, as India, do not force a project on a country. If a country is interested, we are happy to finance. As the finance is available we would like the willing countries to make use of that," Rashquinha said.

The India-initiated International Solar Alliance came into force on December 6, 2017.

India hosted the first conference of the ISA in March this year. So far, 68 members are a signatory to the ISA and 40 have ratified the ISA framework agreement.

The minister said India has laid out a target of 175 GW (giga watt) of renewable energy for itself, of which 100 GW is solar.

Of the 100 GW of solar power capacity, 20 GW has already been attained, Singh said. 

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Ind never impose dev projects on any country: V K Singh

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