The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it was ready to commit over $12 billion in lending to India over the next three years (2020-22), pledging support to the Narendra Modi-led government’s new flagship initiatives such as the Jal Jeevan Mission.

This was conveyed during a meeting the visiting ADB President Takehiko Nakao had with the Prime Minister here on Thursday. Both discussed ways to enhance the partnership in areas such as promotion of new technologies and innovation, renewable energy, solar-pump irrigation, electric vehicles and battery, fintech, sustainable tourism, and recycling of plastic.

Currently, ADB’s sovereign lending to India is about $3 billion annually, while its non-sovereign commitment (including private sector) is about $1 billion every year.

Private sector investments

Nakao, during his meeting with Modi, emphasised the bank’s commitment to catalyse private sector investments, and announced a $100-million investment in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund.

In May 2019, ADB made its single-largest non-sovereign loan to date by committing $750 million to the Indian Railway Finance Corporation to support the electrification of existing railway tracks.

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At Thursday’s meeting, Nakao conveyed to Modi that ADB’s sovereign and non-sovereign operations will focus on the government’s major initiatives, including Jal Jeevan Mission — extending drinking water for all, water conservation and more crop per drop; the East Coast Economic Corridor; promoting competitiveness of micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises by linking with global value chains; supporting national road safety programmes; and constructing a rapid rail transit system which connects Delhi with neighbouring satellite cities, starting from Delhi to Meerut. ADB will also expand its assistance in secondary education and the universal health system.

Nakao also commended the government’s vision to make India a $5-trillion economy during Modi’s second term in office, and reaffirmed ADB’s commitment to help bolster the country’s inclusive growth and rapid economic transformation to achieve this vision.