NEW DELHI, INDIA (8 March 2019) — Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice-President Mr. Shixin Chen reiterated ADB’s commitment to further strengthen and expand its partnership with India on his 4-day visit to the country 5–8 March.
Mr. Chen met the Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) of Ministry of Finance, Mr. Subhash Chandra Garg, and acknowledged his strong leadership and guidance in achieving a record $3.03 billion of ADB sovereign lending commitment to India in 2018. “We recognize DEA’s proactive intervention in ensuring high quality project proposals, project readiness, and disciplined implementation,” said Mr. Chen. “This contributed to ADB’s strong portfolio performance in 2018, which also saw highest contract awards and disbursements.”
Mr. Chen affirmed ADB’s readiness to scale up its India lending to $4 billion annually (including private sector lending), focusing on the government’s flagship programs in infrastructure, economic corridors, low-income states, enhancing support to social sectors, and addressing climate change impacts. ADB’s ongoing India portfolio constitutes 80 projects worth $14.3 billion in the sovereign sector and $1.6 billion in the private sector.
Mr. Chen indicated ADB’s willingness to support India’s highway development program and road safety initiatives at his meeting with Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Mr. Yudhvir Singh Malik. He discussed ADB support to strengthen India’s logistics infrastructure at a separate meeting with officials in the Logistics Division of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Mr. Chen also visited the National Load Despatch Centre that monitors 24/7 India’s national power systems including electric power exchanges with neighboring countries.
Mr. Chen travelled to Vizag and Chennai and visited project sites in the Vizag–Chennai Industrial Corridor and Chennai–Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor (CKIC), which are part of the East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC). ADB is working with the central and state governments to develop ECEC that runs from Kolkata to Kanyakumari.
In Chennai, Mr. Chen met with Chief Secretary, Ms. Girija Vaidyanathan, and other senior officials of the Tamil Nadu government. He assured of ADB’s continued support to the master-planning of two priority nodes in CKIC—Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli; and Madurai-Virudhunagar-Dindigul-Theni. ADB is planning and implementing projects worth $2.4 billion in the state to build roads, a metro rail, power lines, urban infrastructure, and housing for urban poor.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region.