AIIB to invest $1.4 billion in India, says Piyush Goyal

 

New Delhi, Jun 25: Multilateral development bank Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has committed to invest in seven projects worth $1.4 billion towards infrastructure projects in India, interim finance minister Piyush Goyal said on Monday.
Another nine projects worth $2.4 billion are also in the pipeline, out of which four projects worth $860 million are non-sovereign or private projects.
“So far, AIIB has approved several projects. Out of projects worth $4.4 billion (that AIIB plans to invest in), $1.4 billion has been approved by India,” Goyal said.
On Sunday, the lender also approved an equity investment of $100 million in India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund’s (NIIF) Fund of Funds as Phase I and is considering a further investment of $100 million in the future.
The third annual meeting of the Board of Governors of Beijing-headquartered AIIB is being held in Mumbai during June 25-26. India is AIIB’s second-largest shareholder with around 8 percent stake and is also a major recipient of loans from the bank that focuses on infrastructure projects primarily in Asia.
AIIB commenced its operation in January 2016 and aims to improve economic and social development in Asia by investing in high quality, financially.
On challenges related to land acquisition pertaining to infrastructure projects, the minister said that he doesn’t see stress in acquiring land if it can be availed by consent.
Currently, the development bank is reviewing certain projects related to transportation, urban (metro) and rural (roads). In addition, it is also looking at power grid improvements, transmission improvements and renewable energy (sovereign and non-sovereign) and water and waste management projects.
Meanwhile, Goyal said that thrust is being given to strengthen the management of Air India and operational efficiency.
“…you will start seeing operational improvement in the airline…engaging with technology and other better practices that private companies follow. That will help us get better value” Goyal replied when asked about the failed attempt to sell state-owned carrier Air India.