With an annual investment commitment of Rs 24,000 crore and involvement in 66 projects across sectors, Japanese lending agency JICA re-asserted its commitment to continue to invest in India despite economic gloom and the falling rupee that has deterred most potential investors.
At an Indo-Japan seminar on Monorail, JICA’s senior representative, Ichiguchi Tomohide told Business Standard, “Our commitment and relationship with India is long term and this is the time to support India more.” JICA supported largely by the Japanese government has tripled its commitments since 2000 in transport, water, energy and forestry sector.
But the long term commitment is not without troubles. JICA emphasized the need for Indian to improve on its project planning and implementation. Addressing the seminar Tomohide stated that slow land acquisition, delayed government approvals, unfair risk distribution were the main challenges for India today. He also emphasized the need for improving the performance of contractors and enhance contract enforcement in India.
During a discussion, a senior JICA official also stated that the bureaucratic attitudes are unlikely to change and at the same time government needs to support the JICA more. ‘Sometimes a senior official or the related staff working on the project is abruptly transferred. This hinders the project’s growth and creates troubles for us’ , said a senior official.
JICA funded projects include five metros in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai along with Western Dedicated Freight Corridor and Chennai-Bangalore Industrial Corridor. With an annual investment commitment of Rs 24,000 crore, India is today JICA’s largest partner.