India has an infrastructure deficit that could take almost two decades to bridge, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday at the inauguration of the regional office of European Investment Bank (EIB) in Delhi.
“One of the largest infrastructure creation programme which is going on in India and I think at least in the next two decades, I see India’s hands full in trying to expand its infrastructure and get rid of the deficit that existed in India,” Mr. Jaitley said.
He added that there are no noises of protectionism in India as witnessed in other parts of the world. “Contrary to all the global noises we see in various parts of the world, there are no noises of protectionism in India and therefore, we are amongst the most open economies in the world,” the Finance Minister said.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) announced commitment of €450 million for supporting sustainable transport and renewable energy projects. Out of €450 million funding, EIB has committed a loan of €200 million to State Bank of India for funding solar projects across India. SBI Managing Director B Sriram said the interest on the loan will be at a concessional rate.
Besides, the EIB has also committed to release the second tranche of €250 million for construction of Lucknow Metro.
Investment to pick up
Stressing that investment will be required in sectors such as public transport, water management, rural infrastructure among others, he said investment will pick up momentum in the years to come.
“I do see this programme of infrastructure investment picking up pace over next two decades because that’s the extent of deficit that we have in India,” he said.
“As the world’s largest multilateral public bank and a global leader in financing climate action, the EU Bank recognises that the time is right to increase our engagement across South Asia,” EIB President Dr. Werner Hoyer said, adding that the bank has supported long-term investment in India for more than two decades.
Credit By : The Hindu
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