New Delhi, Jan.31 (ANI): The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India have agreed on a new three-year business plan that will provide lending assistance of 7.4 billion dollars to support inclusive and environmentally sustainable growth in the country.
A major thrust of ADB's India Country Operations Business Plan (COBP) for 2011-2013 will be to support infrastructure development, particularly through public-private partnership (PPP) programs.
Supporting the Government's efforts to redress inter-state economic disparities is also a key cornerstone of the India COBP which is aligned to India's 11th Five Year Plan for 2007-2012 and ADB's long term Strategy 2020 for reducing poverty in the region.
Continued assistance for development of the vital energy sector by means of projects involving clean and renewable energy sources including solar power is another key focus area.
"ADB is pleased to note that approval of the India COBP comes against the backdrop of record performance by ADB in terms of both program delivery and portfolio performance in 2010", said Hun Kim, ADB's Country Director for India.
"In 2010 ADB approved loans amounting to 2.2 billion dollars, while its annual disbursement reached a record level of 1.7 billion dollars. We very much look forward to continue to work closely with the Government of India in implementing the projects in the COBP to help promote inclusive growth and reduce poverty in the country," added Mr Kim.
Several of the projects approved in 2010 are innovative and focus on new areas. The 170 million dollars Agribusiness Infrastructure Development project, for example, will use an integrated value chain approach to develop agribusiness infrastructure to improve marketing of horticultural products.
The Sustainable Coastal Protection and Management Investment Program amounting to 250 million dollars, on the other hand, will use environment-friendly technology and natural protection measures for stabilizing and protecting the coastlines of three states.
In addition,250 million dollars will be channeled towards supporting the Government's efforts to develop the tourism sector by upgrading infrastructure at tourist destinations in four states.
ADB is committed to ensuring that at least 30 percent of its projects in the COBP are innovative and responsive, including tapping on new PPP opportunities and structuring ongoing PPPs to make them bankable. It will also explore non-sovereign lending options in the case of entities with adequate financial and technical strength such as the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited.
In order to help bridge inter-state economic disparities, ADB will continue with its projects in the transport, energy and urban sectors in states like Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan. It will also continue to provide assistance for the critical national Rural Roads Development Program in Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, and West Bengal and for public resource management in Assam and Mizoram.
Climate change mitigation and adaptation will be further mainstreamed into ADB operations. Energy operations will focus on the generation and transmission of clean and renewable energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency.
ADB is in discussion with state governments, including Gujarat and Rajasthan, on how to increase generation and transmission of solar power. (ANI)