23:51 GMT19 October 2020
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    India has already borrowed $1.4 billion for seven projects from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) - almost 28 percent of the bank’s total lending.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — Faced with the major challenge of raising cheap loans worth $4.5 trillion for infrastructure projects, India has sought $2.4 billion from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for nine major projects.

    India's minister of finance, Piyush Goyal, while lauding the robust process of the Beijing-based infrastructure lending bank AIIB, said on Monday that easy to navigate policies are the key reasons for the investment flow into India's infrastructure.  

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    "AIIB has focused its investment in India on lending to rural infrastructure, energy and power, environmental protection, transportation and telecommunication, water supply and sanitation and urban development and logistics and it is a matter of great pride that India is the largest recipient of the $4.2 billion funds disbursed by it, which constitutes 28 percent of its total investment so far," Indian minister Goyal said while speaking on the sidelines of the third AIIB annual meeting in Mumbai on Monday.                                                                            

    Goyal also said that raising the requisite funds for the Indian infrastructure projects at a cheaper rate has been a major challenge amid rising interest rates on the global stage, led by a hardening of rates in the US.

    The chief executive of Singaporean lender DBS, Piyush Gupta, also observed that finding capital for infrastructure projects is not easy, as banks, which have traditionally financed infrastructure projects, have a limited capacity.

    India has been the largest beneficiary of the AIIB for the last three years. Despite tensions between India and China for almost the entirety of 2017 due to a border stand-off at Doklam, the bank allocated more than a quarter of its lending to India in 2017.  

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    "Our bank is apolitical, we do not comment on the internal affairs of any country. What drives our investment are projects and not politics. We have an international relations policy approved by our board that regulates how we handle any proposal that comes forward on any disputed territory," Danny Alexander, vice president of AIIB, replied when asked whether the AIIB would fund projects in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which runs through certain disputed areas between India and Pakistan. 

    Indian authorities have also echoed the same view. "In a bank with 86 members, I don't think anybody should consider this belongs to any country. The AIIB is as much a Chinese bank as the World Bank is American," Subhash Chandra Garg, India's Economic affairs secretary, said.


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    commercial, loans, infrastructure, political, development, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Piyush Goyal, India, China
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