ADB pledges $10bn for Indian infrastructure

The Manila-based lender believes the Indian government’s commitment to reforms in the last three years has helped improve the investment climate.

The Asian Development Bank plans to invest $10 billion in Indian infrastructure projects through financing and assistance as part of its new country strategy over the next five years to 2022.

“The ADB is prepared to invest up to $5 billion during 2018-2022 for infrastructure building to develop the East Coast Economic Corridor,” said Takehiko Nakao, the institution’s president. The corridor programme aims to boost manufacturing through foreign direct investment, which requires logistics infrastructure along the 2,500km coastline stretching from Kolkata in the north to Kanyakumari in the south. 

He added that the institution is ready to help meet immediate development needs of up to $5 billion for less developed states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarth. 

“Several reform measures introduced by the government for rationalising tax structure, boosting competitiveness and easing foreign direct investment norms in the crucial sectors like infrastructure will contribute to its objective of achieving high and inclusive economic growth,” said Nakao. 

“Further reforms both at the central and state levels for improving efficiency in the land and labour markets and strengthening the banking sector will boost growth.”

He believed the new uniform Goods and Services Tax, in particular, would create a single national market and spur economic growth by removing tax distortions. 

“Development of core infrastructure in the transport, energy and urban sectors would remain the focus of the ADB’s India operations, along with continuing support to skills development, irrigation and agricultural value chains, and urban health,” the ADB noted. 

The bank expects India to grow by 7.4 percent in the financial year ending 31 March 2018 and 7.6 percent in the following one.