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Covid-19: ADB working on $2.2 billion package to support India’s emergency needs

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 10, 2020 Published on April 10, 2020

Masatsugu Asakawa, President, Asian Development Bank   -  Reuters

Ready to increase ADB assistance if needed, says ADB President Asakawa to FM Sitharaman

Asian Development Bank (ADB) is putting together a $2.2 billion package to support India’s COVID-19 response, its President Masatsugu Asakawa has said.

This multilateral development bank is also willing to further increase it’s assistance for India if needed, Asakawa conveyed to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a call.

“ADB is committed to supporting India’s emergency needs. We are now preparing $2.2 billion in immediate assistance to the health sector and to help alleviate the economic impact of the pandemic on the poor; informal workers; micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises; and the financial sector,” Asakawa said. “ADB assistance for India will be further increased if needed. We will consider all financing options available with us to meet India’s needs, including emergency assistance, policy-based loans, and budget support to facilitate swift disbursement of ADB funds.”

Asakawa commended the Government’s decisive response to the pandemic, including a national health emergency programme, tax and other relief measures provided to businesses, He also commended the Government's $23 billion economic relief package announced on March 26 to provide immediate income and consumption support to the poor, women, and workers affected by the three-week nationwide lockdown.

ADB is also engaged with the private sector to meet its financing needs during this period.

It may be recalled ADB had on March 18 announced an initial package of about $6.5 billion to address the immediate needs of its developing member countries, including India, as they respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. ADB stands ready to provide further financial assistance and policy advice whenever the situation warrants. 

Weakening global economic growth is causing disruptions in India’s trade and manufacturing supply chains, along with the slowdown in tourism and other economic activities. This is straining the large number of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, and the livelihood of formal and informal laborers across the country.

Asakawa said the policy measures announced by the Government will provide much-needed relief and stimulus to the most vulnerable people as well as businesses and become a basis for faster recovery.

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Published on April 10, 2020
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