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India plans to extend credit to develop Gambia's Banjul port

Arijit Paladhi  |  New Delhi 

is planning to extend a to The to expand and upgrade its

The West African nation has already received a $45 million (LoC). Pending due-diligence, an in-principle approval for credit to The has been granted.

Banjul is also the capital of The and the eponymous port located in the capital is planning to expand and upgrade its The assistance to The Gambia for port development comes even as the Indian government recently sanctioned about $85 million for their first overseas port project - the Chabahar port in Iran.

The (DPA) wing under the (MEA) has considered the proposal and forwarded it to the shipping ministry for their comments on the proposal.

Established in 1972, the is the main seaport in The Gambia and accounts for almost 90 per cent of the country's trade in terms of volume and weight. More importantly, the port also serves as the lynchpin in trade and distribution of cargo to its landlocked neighboring countries like Senegal and Mali.

On March 28, 2013, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh's address at the state opening of the National Assembly talked about and the had approved of the second worth $16.88 million for the construction of the National Assembly Building Complex back then. President Jammeh, during that speech, had laid out the intention for upgrading and expanding the Banjul port. The expansion project entails increasing its capacity in terms of berth space for ships, adding container terminal, acquisition of cargo handling equipment and computerisation.

has requested the ministry of shipping to carry out a techno-financial appraisal of the project. The comments of the appraisal report will then be forwarded to the which will consider the overall aspects of the plan and take a call.

An official from the MEA, on conditions of anonymity, said that pending comments from the appraisal report, funds will be disbursed by the EXIM Bank. "After the decision to extend credit is officially sanctioned, and the Finance Ministry will take a final call and EXIM Bank will disburse the allocated funds," said the official.

The DPA, which handles the Line of Credit extended by the Indian government to other countries, manages project appraisals in the East, South and West African regions. Before the $45 million sanction, credit to the tune of $33.58 million has been extended by Export Import (EXIM) Bank of India for projects in the West African nation of The Gambia.

First Published: Fri, October 31 2014. 00:34 IST