New Delhi, Mar 10: India requires enormous investment in infrastructure sector and infrastructure projects have long gestation periods and, in most cases, are not financially viable on their own.
The advantage of long tenure and low interest of Japanese ODA is beneficial to India for funding large infrastructure projects, said Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram at the Note Exchange ceremony, held here today for Japanese ODA Package of 185.575 billion Yen (Rs.7074 crore) for the second batch of FY 2007.
In the presence of Finance Minister, the notes were exchanged between Kumar Sanjay Krishna, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Hideaki Domichi, Ambassador of Japan to India.
Appreciating the increasing commitment of Japanese ODA to India since FY 2003-04, Chidambaram said that with this commitment total ODA loan commitment from Japan in FY 2007 comes to 225.13 billion Yen (Rs.8582 crore) and this is a 21.76 per cent increase from last year's ODA commitment which was 184.893 billion Yen.
This is also the highest ever ODA loan commitment from Japan to India and India continues to be the highest recipient of ODA from Japan, Chidambaram added.
Chidambaram stated that this year's ODA package include projects which are very important to India, like the Delhi MRTS, Kolkata East-West, Hyderabad Outer Ring Road and Tamil Nadu Urban Infrastructure development Projects.
He mentioned that inclusion of Hogenakkal Water Supply and Fluorisis Mitigation Project in the ODA package serves a long standing demand of the people of Tamil Nadu.
Chidambaram said that in the last few years relations between India and Japan have steadily progressed based on India-Japan Global Partnership.
Domichi said that the partnership between India and Japan is not only robust, but growing.
He said that the Japanese believe that India would grow and become one of the largest economy in the near future.
Domichi mentioned that Japan and India are cooperating on various important projects throughout India, and appreciated the fact that the Delhi Metro Project is often referred to as a "shining example" of the Japanese cooperation to India.
The Ambassador recognised infrastructure building as one of the top priorities of the Government of India.