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ADB President Nakao calls on PM, pledges USD 12 bn support to govt's initiatives


Press Trust of India New Delhi
The Asian Development Bank on Thursday committed USD 12 billion to the government's new flagship initiatives like piped water for all and road safety over the next three years, the multilateral bank said after its President Takehiko Nakao met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here.
The Prime Minister and Nakao discussed how to further enhance partnership in areas like promotion of new technologies and innovation, renewable energy, solar-pump irrigation, electric vehicle and battery, fintech, sustainable tourism, and recycle of plastic, an ADB release said.
Nakao commended the government's vision to make India a USD 5 trillion economy during Modi's second term in office, and reaffirmed ADB's commitment to helping bolster the country's inclusive growth and rapid economic transformation to achieve this vision.
ADB's sovereign lending to India in 2018 reached a record USD 3 billion, in transport, urban, irrigation, skills development, and intermediary finance for public-private partnerships.
Nakao said ADB stands ready to commit more than USD 12 billion lending in the next three years 2020-2022, averaging annually over USD 3 billion for sovereign operations and USD 1 billion for non-sovereign or private sector investment.
"India is one of the fastest growing economies in Asia and the Pacific, maintaining a growth rate of about 7.5 per cent on average in the last 5 years.
"ADB expects the country's growth in 2019 at 7 per cent and in 2020 at 7.2 per cent, despite downside risks in the global economy," said Nakao who is on a four-day visit to India concluding Friday.
During the meeting with Modi, he said the government needs to maintain prudent macroeconomic management, sustain its reform efforts, enhance industrial competitiveness and job creation, and rejuvenate the rural economy.
Nakao encouraged the government to sustain the momentum of reforms in such areas as labor laws, land acquisition and consolidating various welfare schemes.
ADB sovereign and non-sovereign operations will focus on the government's major initiatives, including Jal Jeevan Mission (extending drinking water for all, water conservation and more crop per drop); the East Coast Economic Corridor program; promoting competitiveness of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises by linking with global value chains and supporting national road safety programs.
The Manila headquartered multilateral agency will also expand assistance in secondary education and the universal health system.
In Kolkata on Friday, Nakao will attend the launch of an ADB publication that showcases ADB's 20- year partnership with the Kolkata Municipal Corporation.
The partnership has been helping improve the city's water supply, and sewerage and drainage systems, while building resilience through the introduction of early flood warning system.

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First Published: Aug 29 2019 | 9:35 PM IST

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