The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will extend loans to the North Eastern region to develop road connectivity and Bihar for boosting agri-business.

For the North-East, the ADB will lend $74.8 million for better road connectivity, a Finance Ministry release said here on Tuesday.

The loan constitutes the first tranche of the North Eastern State Roads Investment Programme, a $200 million multi-tranche finance facility, expected to be executed in two tranches. Under the facility, 433.7 km roads would be improved/upgraded/constructed in six States -- Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim and Tripura. “This will be ADB’s first transport sector project in the North East region,” the release added.

In a separate agreement, ADB will lend $67.6 million to boost investment for agribusiness infrastructure in Bihar.

The loan will help improve physical and institutional links to support agriculture, expand agricultural value chains and facilitate better linkages for small-scale farmers with processors, agribusiness entrepreneurs, and service providers in Muzaffarpur and Patna-Nalanda regions of Bihar. The loan is the first tranche of a $170 million multi-tranche financing facility under the Agribusiness Infrastructure Development Investment Programme, which was approved by the ADB Board in September 2010 to boost private sector investment in agribusiness infrastructure in selected regions of Bihar and Maharashtra, the release added.

Public-private partnerships to design, build, finance and operate the integrated value chains are a key component of the project.

The loan agreements were signed by Mr Venu Rajamony, Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Government and Mr Hun Kim, Country Director for India, on behalf of ADB.

aditi.n@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on July 10, 2012)
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