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Wed, Nov

The Government of India, the Government of Jharkhand and the World Bank signed here today in New Delhi a $310 million Loan Agreement for Jharkhand Power System Improvement Project to provide reliable, quality, and affordable 24x7 electricity to the citizens of Jharkhand.

 

The Jharkhand Power System Improvement Project will help build new power transmission infrastructure, as well as put in place systems to improve the technical efficiency and commercial performance of the state power sector utilities. The Project will help bring in modern technology solutions such as automated sub-stations, and network analysis and planning tools to provide reliable power supply and enhance customer satisfaction.

 

While a significant portion of the proposed investments are aimed at improving power transmission infrastructure, the Project will also focus on developing institutional capacities of State-owned power transmission and distribution companies and improving their operational performance.

 

The Project is part of the Government of India’s Power for All program launched in 2014. The plan envisages addition of over 4.5 GW generation capacities by 2022 (including a significant share of 1.5 GW from solar energy), through a mix of Private and Public-sector investments.

 

The Agreement for the Project was signed by Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Government of India; Ms. Vandana Dadel, Secretary, Energy Department, on behalf of the Government of Jharkhand; and Mr. Junaid Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank India, on behalf of the World Bank.

 

After signing the Agreement, Shri Sameer Kumar Khare ,Additional Secretary, DEA said that Jharkhand was one of the first States’ to join the Power for All plan and is making efforts to improve access to power through reforms in transmission and electricity distribution. He further said that with the demand for reliable power expected to almost double in the coming years, the Project will help meet the energy needs of the State for its economic growth.

 

 Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director in India said that the Government of Jharkhand is committed to providing quality power supply to its people for the State’s economic development. This Project will help the State increase supply of reliable electricity to households, industries, businesses and various other productive sectors, and contribute to poverty alleviation, and inclusive growth in Jharkhand.

 

The Government of Jharkhand has achieved significant results towards electrification. As per data from the Jharkhand Distribution Company more than 80 percent of all citizens in the State have access to electricity. However, the State will have to continue to work towards providing reliable 24x7 power for all its consumers. The Per Capita Consumption of electricity in Jharkhand at 552 kWh at the end of FY16 is roughly half of the national average. Improved availability of power in the region from plants owned by the Central Government and Independent Power Producers (IPPs) has helped the State achieve lower demand supply deficits in recent years.

 

Some of the major components of the project include construction of new substations and transmission lines, primarily at 132kV voltage level; provide support to the Jharkhand Urja Sancharan Nigam Limited (JUSNL) in setting-up systems for strengthening the State Load Dispatch Centre (SLDC) operations including financing software solutions for improving scheduling and dispatch functions. This will help integrate renewable energy in the State grid.

 

The Project will also support smart meters, with two-way communication and backend IT infrastructure, deployed in select urban towns. These meters will not only reduce technical and commercial losses, but also improve peak load management. The meters are expected to provide consumers with better access to data which will encourage them to reduce their electricity consumption. To begin with, the Project will finance smart metering for around 350,000 consumers in the capital city of Ranchi.  

 

“Implementing such a large program and improving the financial health of the sector, requires deeper institutional development of its power transmission & distribution utilities. Hence, one of the key elements of the current project will be to support institutional strengthening of the State-owned utilities in the areas of procurement, contract implementation, financial management, and commercial operations among others,” said Mr. Amol Gupta, Energy Specialist and Ms. Kavita Saraswat, Senior Power Engineer and World Bank’s Task Team Leaders for this project.

 

The $310 Million Loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 5-year grace period, and a final maturity of 25 years.

 

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DSM/RM/KA

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Following is the text of the Union Environment Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan’s welcome address today, at the ministerial meet of BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) Countries, being hosted by MoEFCC in New Delhi.

“I welcome you all to 27th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change in this historic city of Delhi. The Paris Agreement is historic too, and we all know its role in uniting countries, both developed and developing, in their resolve to do their utmost in the fight against climate change.

This Agreement is particularly significant as it represents the faith that countries, especially the developing countries, have placed in the multilateral processesknowing well that their actions towards addressing climate change will have a strong developmental impact.

Although BASIC group of countries are the leading emerging economies, still they have significant percentage of the world’s poorest people. For us, enabling the growth of the poor out of poverty trap, is an important part of our response to tackling climate change and we know that the opportunities for the two efforts to complement each other are significant. To that effect, the efforts outlined in our NDCs - increasing clean energy production and access, deploying new energy efficient technologies, and adapting to low carbon-intensive lifestyles – are targeted at creating opportunities for sustainable livelihoods, and sustainable development for the poor.

To further these objectives, we need to ensure that the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP) is prepared in accordance with the agreed principles of Equity and Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC) as enshrined in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Paris Agreement.

In addition, anchoring the COP 24 outcomes in the vision of equity will help deliver climate justice not only to the present but also to our future generations.

The climate actions of developing countries are ambitious despite the fact our contribution to the issue of climate change is minimal. The historical responsibility lies squarely with the developed countries. Therefore, it is the developed countries who must fulfil their climate obligations expeditiously. They must take the lead in the fight against climate change by their actions as well as the provision of enhanced financial and other support to developing countries for enabling them to enhance their climate ambition.

Lack of ambition of developed countries and their unfulfilled promises should not place additional burden on developing countries to further enhance the level of ambition of their NDCs.

   We must ensure that the progress on NDCs at COP 24 does not yield an outcome that is

   Mitigation-centric but it should address all elements including mitigation, adaptation,

   finance, technology development and transfer and capacity building.

Barriers continue to impede the progress of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency deployment. We must attack these barriers. High patent cost of such technologies and non-facilitative IPR regimes are barriers that the Financial Mechanism should address. We are not asking IPR regime to be tampered or dismantled but only support for quick dissemination of technologies.

We need to explore possibilities to fund research and development of climate friendly technologies and shorten technology deployment cycle in absence of which transformative development would be delayed.

Adaptation is a pressing issue for developing countries. They are highly vulnerable to climate change impacts as is also evident from the recent natural disasters and extreme events, which have caused extensive damage to life and property. Naturally, adaptation is an integral part of most developing country NDCs. Since the developing countries have played little role in the present climate change challenge and bearing the brunt of the historic greenhouse gas emissions by developed countries, adequate support must be provided to developing countries by developed countries to help them undertake adaptation actions.

The reporting under the transparency framework should be based on the principle of differentiation, providing greater flexibility to developing countries, and should also provide relevant information on the support provided by developed countries to developing countries.

A balanced approach towards development of Modalities, Procedures and Guidelines (MPGs) for the Enhanced Transparency Framework that enhances global action and financial support will serve us well in the negotiations at Katowice. In addition, adequate support should be provided to developing countries to participate in the enhanced transparency framework under the Paris Agreement.

The developed countries seem to be shedding their responsibilities in pre-2020 period and delaying climate action, which is neither in accordance with the agreed principles of the UNFCCC, or latest scientific findings on climate change. This would not only put additional mitigation burden on developing countries in post-2020 period but will also increase the overall costs and present greater economic challenges for us to make a transition to low carbon growth pathway.

At COP 24, we must prioritize pre-2020 agenda as it would help build trust among Parties and strengthen their faith in the multilateral process.Developed countries should be encouraged to fulfil their pre-2020 commitments even in the post 2020 period and this will form a strong foundation for post 2020 action.

Finance is one of the critical enablers of climate actions in developing countries along with technology development and transfer and capacity-building support.  Any regression or slow progress on these will hamper the progress of developing countries towards achieving higher ambition in their actions. We find that there is considerable difference in what is communicated as climate finance by different countries. Public finance in the form of grants and concessional finance is required for climate actions.

Developed countries are far from realizing their climate finance commitment of mobilizing USD 100 billion per year by 2020. They should not only make urgent efforts to honour this commitment but also progressively and substantially scale up their financial support in post-2020 period. The developed countries should finalize a new collective finance goal in time for the global stocktake in 2023 which would inform Parties for future action through NDCs.

India looks forward to constructive engagement and meaningful outcomes from the Facilitative Talanoa Dialogue at COP 24 that will pave a way for a better starting point in 2020 for the implementation of the Paris Agreement.”

 

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GK

 

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The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that world nations, led by the UN, should arrive at a consensus in refusing shelter to economic fugitives and create a framework for Extradition Treaties and exchange of information on black money. He was delivering keynote address after presenting Economic Times Awards 2018 for Corporate Excellence, in Mumbai today. The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley, the Union Minister for Railways and Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

 

The Vice President called upon Corporate India and Banks to collectively work to ensure that every rupee is put to the most productive use. Congratulating the award winners, the Vice President said that these awards were indicators of the crucial role played by India inc. in the country’s onward journey towards becoming an economic superpower.

 

Expressing great optimism in India’s dream of becoming a $ 10 trillion economy soon, the Vice President highlighted several indicators of policy success such as the rise in the Direct Tax collection from Rs.6.38 lakh crore in 2013-14, to Rs.10.02 lakh crore in 2017-18, an increase of 57 per cent in four years.

 

Stressing that there is no place for ‘loot and scoot’ approach, the Vice President sought for constant vigilance, effective supervision and timely action to bring economic offenders and financial fugitives to justice so that the financial system can be restored to good health. He added that bad loans had crippled many banks in the country and expressed hope that this situation would be resolved quickly.

 

The Vice President said that while our economy is poised for unprecedented growth, there are two important dimensions that we should not lose sight of—one is ‘equity’ and the second is ‘ethics’. Highlighting corporate India’s role in national development, Shri Naidu said that real growth would be achieved only through a strong partnership between government and private enterprises.

 

Shri Naidu said that demonetization and Goods and Service Tax have spurred opportunities and growth and have ushered in digitalization, formalization and integration of the economy despite facing some teething troubles in the beginning.

 

The Vice President said that economic growth must create avenues for more and more people to realize their potential. Calling for democratization of such economic opportunity, instructed industrial groups and various companies to adopt an inclusive approach so that the right ecosystem is created in the new India for everybody to realize his or her potential.

 

The Vice President explained that a level playing field, a facilitative institutional structure and a sound regulatory framework were essential ingredients for success. He added that innovation, efficiency and technological progress were the key tools to build a new India.

 

The Vice President asked the India Inc. to be at the forefront of the transformation where ethics and economics go hand-in-hand. He also asked corporate India to focus on revitalizing agriculture as more than 60 per cent of our population depended upon agriculture for livelihood.

 

Recalling the widespread appreciation for India’s growth story he experienced during his visit to Africa and Latin America, the Vice President said that world was looking towards India with great confidence for investment, technology and innovations. He further said that India should shun the politics of populism and move towards politics of pragmatism which will benefit society in the long term. ‘Freebies are not a solution’, he warned.

 

The Vice President also urged private companies and business houses to increase their CSR activities and earmark funds beyond what has been stipulated by the government for social good.

 

The Vice President gave away the Business Leader of the year Award to the Managing Director, Bajaj Finserv, Shri Sanjiv Bajaj, the Company of the year Award to HDFC Bank, the Emerging Company of the year Award to Page Industries, the Entrepreneur of the year Award to the noted entrepreneur in the Indian renewable energy sector, Shri Sumant Sinha, the Global Indian of the year Award to the Indian American business executive, and the CEO of Adobe Systems, Shri Shantanu Narayen, the Lifetime Achievement Award to the Chairman of the Godrej Group, Shri Adi Godrej, the Business Reformer of the year Award to the Chief Minister of Telangana, Shri K. Chandrashekar Rao, the Policy Change Agent of the year Award to National Payments Corporation of India and the Corporate Citizen of the year Award to Hindustan Unilever.

 

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AKT/BK/MS/RK

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Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed here today a $169 million loan as the First Tranche of a $500 million multi-tranche financing to develop climate-resilient water supply, sewerage, and drainage infrastructure in at least 10 cities in the State of Tamil Nadu. 

The signatories to the loan for the Tamil Nadu Urban Flagship Investment Program were Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary (Fund Bank and ADB), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, who signed for the Government of India; and Mr. Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission, who signed for ADB.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Khare said that the State has faced recurring droughts and erratic monsoons in the recent past resulting in severe water scarcity and urban flooding. He said that ADB’s support will help address these complex urban challenges through innovative and climate-resilient investment and deeper institutional support. 

Mr. Yokoyama said that the ADB program forms part of its support to the state’s Vision Tamil Nadu 2023 to provide universal access to water and sanitation and to develop world-class cities in high-performing industrial corridors. 

Though Tamil Nadu is the most urbanized of India’s large States, urban service levels remain low, with less than half of households served by piped water, only 42% of households are covered by a sewerage network, with 43% of sewage disposed directly into waterways untreated. 

The program will develop climate-resilient sewerage collection and treatment and drainage systems in 10 cities, and install the country’s first solar-powered sewage treatment plant. Introduction of smart water management systems will help reduce non-revenue water and strengthen operational efficiency. Around 4 million people will benefit from piped water and sewerage connections and improved drainage. The program will boost institutional capacity, public awareness, and urban governance as part of a comprehensive approach for developing livable cities. 

The First Tranche Loan will target the cities of Chennai, Coimbatore, Rajapalayam, Tiruchirappalli, Tirunelveli, and Vellore. A $2 million grant from the Asian Clean Energy Fund, established by the Government of Japan, will fund the solar energy pilot project. An ADB technical assistance grant of $1 million will accompany the program to support capacity building.

 

 

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DSM/RM/KA

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The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, addressed the National Assembly of Vietnam today (November 20, 2018) in Hanoi, on the final day of his visit to Vietnam. He also held bilateral meetings with the President of Vietnam as well as led delegation-level talks. On the occasion, the two countries signed and exchanged four agreements:

  • An agreement between the Ministry of Information and Communications of Vietnam and the Ministry of Communications of India
  • An agreement of cooperation between the Department of Foreign Affairs of Provinces, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Vietnam, and the Indian Business Chamber in Vietnam
  • An academic agreement between the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, Hanoi, and the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
  • An agreement between the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Addressing members of the National Assembly this morning, President Kovind noted that Vietnam is the first ASEAN and Southeast Asian country he is visiting in his capacity as President of India. Vietnam is always on our minds, he said, and always in our hearts. It is pivotal to India’s “Act East” policy. The President emphasised that India’s association with Vietnam has many aspects. We have robust business, political and people-to-people bonds. We are both stakeholders in the commerce, security and stability of the Indo-Pacific Region.

The President said that India offers a cooperation model that does not require its friends to make choices but rather expands choices and expands opportunities for all; that opens not one but many roads. India has consistently supported ASEAN’s unity and centrality and ASEAN-led mechanisms for regional security and economic architecture – to promote peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific Region.

 

The President said that the ocean system is a resource for Vietnam and India and for many other countries and communities. Vietnam and India share a vision for the Indo-Pacific Region, of which the South China Sea is a critical component. We share a vision of a rules-based order that respects sovereignty and territorial integrity, ensures freedom of navigation and over-flight, as well as unimpeded, lawful commerce.

 

The President said that India looks forward to enhanced bilateral cooperation in the maritime domain – for instance, through our first Bilateral Maritime Security Dialogue to be hosted by Vietnam in early 2019. Maritime security, piracy, and drug trafficking using the oceans are issues of common concern. “I am confident,” President Kovind said, “that the programme of regular and friendly visits to each other’s ports by naval and coast guard ships from our countries will upgrade cooperation.”

 

In a separate engagement this morning, the President paid his respects at the monument of National Heroes and Martyrs as well as at the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh.  Later, he visited the Presidential Palace, where he was received by President Nguyen Phu Trong and accorded a ceremonial welcome.

 

During the subsequent discussions with President Nguyen Phu Trong, the President thanked him for his gracious hospitality. The President said that he had a memorable visit to Da Nang yesterday. The Cham temples are a fascinating aspect of our shared heritage. Subsequently, the President led the Indian side in delegation-level talks. He said Indian investors are keen to strengthen their presence in Vietnam. India seeks Vietnam’s support in facilitating Indian investments in sectors like renewable energy, infrastructure, agriculture, textiles, pharmaceuticals, and oil and gas. India also looks forward to cooperation with Vietnam in improving agricultural productivity. 

 

The President issued a media statement on his visit to Vietnam (attached). 

 

Later this afternoon, the President will have a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Vietnam, Mr Nguyen Xuan Phuc. This will be followed soon after by a banquet hosted in honour of the President of India by the President of Vietnam, Mr Nguyen Phu Trong.  Thereafter, President Kovind will emplane for Sydney, Australia – on the final leg of his two-nation visit to Vietnam and Australia. 

 

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AKT/KP/SBP

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India today signed a $105 million loan to continue financing the transmission system upgrades in Himachal Pradesh for increased supply of hydropower to the state and the national grid.

The tranche 3 loan is part of the $350 million multi-tranche financing facility (MFF) for Himachal Pradesh Clean Energy Transmission Investment Program approved by the ADB Board in September 2011. The program is aimed at developing and expanding the transmission network to evacuate clean and renewable power generated from the State’s hydropower sources to load centers within and outside the State. It also supports the institutional capacity development of the state transmission utility, Himachal Pradesh Power Transmission Corporation Limited (HPPTCL), as the executing agency for this project.

The signatories to the loan agreement were Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary (Fund Bank and ADB), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, who signed on behalf of the Government of India; and Mr. Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission, who signed for ADB.

“This particular loan will help Government of Himachal Pradesh to benefit electricity consumers in the state and throughout northern India, by increasing the transmission system capacity for inflow of the hydropower generated in the state into India’s national grid,”said Mr. Khare after signing the loan agreement.

“This last tranche under the MFF will help sustain confidence among existing and potential hydropower developers about the availability of sufficient transmission capacity for evacuation of power from hydropower generation sources in Himachal Pradesh,” said Mr. Yokoyama.

The loan will have a 25-year term, including a grace period of 5 years, an annual interest rate determined in accordance with ADB’s lending facility based on the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR), and a commitment charge of 0.15% per year.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.

 

 

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DSM/RM/KA

 

 

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Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University has begun work on five new themes targeted by the Union Agriculture Ministry for the development of agriculture in the country.

Responsibility for a village has been given to every agricultural scientist to create awareness among farmers about modern agricultural methods


 

Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shri Radha Mohan Singh has said that Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University has begun work on five new themes targeted by Union Agriculture Ministry for the development of agriculture sector. These include “har khet ko pani”, increase the production of pulses, soil health, doubling farmers’ income and more crop per drop. He informed that in two years, positive results have started to appear. Major works include irrigation through solar power and single phase pumps, seed production of pulse crops, soil testing in farmers' fields through six mobile soil testing laboratories, food processing to double the income of farmers, mushroom production, honey production, research on reduction of post-harvest losses and efficient irrigation system.

Speaking on the occasion of the first convocation ceremony of Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University, Pusa, Samastipur (Bihar) he stated that the Modi government has granted a lot of support to strengthen this University. Horticulture and Forestry College, Centre of Excellence on Embryo transfer & indigenous breed, a new centre for beekeeping, modern processing center for jaggery production etc are important steps in this direction. Apart from this, a center for Sahiwal breed in Bettiah, training centre by National Cooperative Development Corporation, seed storage and sale centre by National Seeds Corporation, fish production by cage culture in all KVKs are also proposed. Shri Singh said that Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has launched four new projects to accelerate the 'Lab to Farm' programme for all-round development of agriculture. In order to increasing the connectivity of farmers with scientists, technical assessment, evaluation, training and capacity building, the government has initiated the Farmer First program.

Considering the importance of capacity development for entrepreneurship in rural youth, Student READY (Rural Entrepreneurship Awareness Development Yojana) program has been started and in order to create new opportunities of employment generation for the youth in agriculture and to prevent their migrations, Attracting and Retaining of Youth in Agriculture (ARYA) has been started. The Minister said that under the “Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav” program, agricultural experts of agricultural universities and ICAR have been given the responsibility of a village in order to create awareness among farmers about scientific farming. The Minister hoped that the university is soon counted among the leading universities of the country and the seeds & technologies developed here bring prosperity to the farmers of Bihar and the country thereby doubling their income.

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APS/RCS

 

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The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, reached Hanoi today (November 19, 2018) as part of his two-nation state visit to Vietnam and Australia. Later in the afternoon, the President addressed the Vietnam-India Business Forum in the Vietnamese capital. Speaking at the Business Forum event, the President said India and Vietnam are old civilisational friends, and trade is a driving force of our contemporary partnership. In the past eight years, there has been an almost four-fold increase in bilateral trade, from US$ 3.7 billion in 2010 to US$ 12.8 billion in 2017. With both Vietnam and India on a path of high growth, this trend is expected to continue.

The President said the Vietnam-India business relationship presents prospects for engagement in financial services, IT and the digital economy, hydrocarbons, defence, renewable energy, mining, healthcare, tourism and civil aviation, among other sectors. The President said Vietnam is a very important trading partner for India within ASEAN, and India is now among the 10 largest trading partners of Vietnam. He emphasised that Vietnam-India economic relations have made significant achievements, but a lot more is waiting to happen. He invited Indian and Vietnamese businesses to partner each other for enhanced trade as well as technology and investment collaboration.

Later in the evening, the President addressed an impressive gathering of the Indian community andfriends of India in Vietnam at a reception hosted by Shri P. Harish, Ambassador of India to Vietnam.

Addressing the gathering, the President said the Buddhist Sangha is an important institution promoting friendship between India and Vietnam. He noted that Buddhist monks were as active in nurturing our relations in ancient times as they are today. The President said the Indian community in Vietnam plays a strong role in creating opportunities for the local economy and society. He appreciated the efforts of the Vietnam-India Friendship Association, the Vietnam Union of Friendship Association and the India Studies Departments of Vietnamese universities in working towards a greater understanding of India.

Yesterday afternoon (November 18, 2018), President Kovind began his state visit to Vietnam when he landed in Da Nang. Later in the evening on November 18, he met the local leadership of the Da Nang People’s Committee and attended a banquet in his honour. This morning (November 19, 2018), the President visited the Museum of Cham Sculpture, which has an impressive collection of Cham civilisation sculptures and carvings, including many inspired by Hinduism and Buddhism.

President Kovind also visited the My Son temple complex in Kwangnan province, where the oldest temples have been dated to the fourth century. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the My Son temple complex is among Vietnam’s most cherished cultural treasures. The ancient temples are being restored with support from the Archaeological Survey of India, and the President was briefed on the restoration project.

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AKT/VJ/SBP

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed here todayin national capital a $300 million Loan Agreement to support lending by India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL).

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary (Fund Bank and ADB), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, who signed the loan agreement on behalf of Government of India said that the Project will enhance availability of long-term finance for PPP projects, improve operational capacity of IIFCL, and expand the portfolio of infrastructure financing instruments available to IIFCL. He further said that the loan is expected to compliment Government's infrastructure building efforts.

Mr. Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission who signed the agreement for ADB, said that ADB funding is expected to fund at least 13 sub-projects through IIFCL, involving roads and renewable power generation, under the last tranche.

The Project supports the renewed effort of the Government of India in accelerating infrastructure growth through increased Private Sector investment. The Project is relevant and responsive to the constraints to bank based infrastructure financing, fiscal space creation, and repercussions on GDP growth.

The $300 million ADB loan is expected to help catalyze the financial closing of $2.4 billion in investments. In addition, the attached technical assistance will support IIFCL capacity development and will focus on IIFCL’s financial management and social and environmental safeguards.

 

 

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DSM/RM/KA

 

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Secretary MSME at the India- Taiwan SME Development Forum in Taipei

Secretary MSME,Dr.Arun Kumar Panda, led the Indian Delegation in the India- Taiwan SME Development Forum being held at Taipei, Taiwan from 13th to 17th November, 2018. In his opening remarks at the Forum yesterdayDr. Panda said the MSME sector in India occupies a position of strategic importance. Currently, there are over 63 million MSMEs across various industries that employ more than 111 million persons and produce more than 8,000 products, ranging from traditional to high-tech precision items. He said MSME is the second largest employment generating sector after agriculture. Talking about the initiatives taken by Government of India under Start-up India, he said to promote a culture of entrepreneurship, programs like ‘Start Up India’ and ‘Stand Up India’ have been launched and have resulted in India having the 3rd largest start up ecosystem in the world with more than 26,000 start-ups.

Speaking about integrating the Indian MSMEs with the regional and global value chain he said that there is a lot of potential for cooperation in MSME sector between India and Taiwan. Dr. Panda said India welcomes investment both in terms of technology transfers and FDI by Taiwanese companies in India with Indian SMEs. Sectors like electronics, auto-components, textiles, automobiles, bamboo industry, in which Taiwan has largest concentration, are of special interest to India, he said.

Twenty enterprises from India in the field of general engineering, auto components, electronics & plastics are attending the forum with the purpose of seeking linkages in their respective fields with their Taiwanese counterparts. The MSME ministry has been running an International Cooperation Scheme for the Indian MSMEs with the objective of technology infusion and upgradation, their modernization and promotion of exports.

Taiwan has strong industrial base with well developed micro, small and medium (MSME) sector especially in semiconductors, petrochemicals, automobile and auto parts, wireless communication equipment, steel, plastics, textiles and light engineering machineries. Indian MSMEs are considered competitive in sectors like auto components, pharmaceuticals, IT, bio-technology and Food Processing.

Major export commodities from India are naphtha, minerals, refined copper cathodes, ferrochromium, zinc, aluminium and pig iron.The main import commodities from Taiwan are Poly Vinyl Chloride, flat rolled products of alloyed steel, electronic integrated circuit, accessories of machines, solar cells, digital cameras andvoice transmission machines.

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MM/ KA

 

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