India To Decide On Projects To Be Referred To AIIB: Arun Jaitley

Beijing: India has a massive infrastructure programme and will decide on which of the projects under it could be referred to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for funding, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday.

Mr Jaitley made the remarks ahead of the crucial AIIB Board of Governors meeting which he attended.

The Beijing-based AIIB was officially established last year with authorised capital of $100 billion in which India and 56 other countries joined as founding members.

China is the largest shareholder with 26.06 per cent voting shares. India is the second largest shareholder with 7.5 per cent followed by Russia 5.93 per cent and Germany with 4.5 per cent.

Yesterday, the bank announced its first set of four loans totalling to over $509 million for infrastructure projects in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Tajikistan.

Speaking to the Chinese state-run CCTV ahead of the meeting, Mr Jaitley said India which has undertaken massive infrastructure development programme will decide on which of the projects should be referred to AIIB funding depending on the availability of finances.

“India has a massive infrastructure programme which is going on,” he said.

“It covers railways, airport, sea ports, water supply, sewage, smart city creation, more urbanisation,” Mr Jaitley, who is on a five-day visit to China, said.

“Depending on the kind of finances which are available we would like to see which one of these projects, (or) some of them could be financed by the AIIB,” Mr Jaitley said.

India of course is the second largest partner in the bank after China.

“These are parallel institutions which are developing, because of the need for development finance,” he said.

While the Beijing-based AIIB is headed by former Assistant Chinese Finance Minister, Jin Liqun, D J Pandian from India is the Vice President and Chief Investment Officer.

In his address to the opening session of the BOG , Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli said AIIB should forge close partnerships with the World Bank, Asia Development Bank and others in extending financial assistance to infrastructure projects.

It is crucial for the AIIB to comply with multilateral agency procedures and rules, Mr Zhang added.

Mr Jin said while the bank has cleared the four loans yesterday, “we expect to bring additional projects to the board in the second half of the year and are working on the pipeline for 2017”.

He presented a detailed report on the implementation of the 2016 Business Plan and Budget.

The report said so far the bank made considerable progress on the strategic institutional and operational priorities, with several of the mid-term performance milestones met.

“We have developed strong, collaborative partnerships within the MDB Multi Development Bank, (MDB) community and have signed Memoranda of Understanding to promote cooperation and co-financing with the ADB, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and European Investment Bank (EIB),” Mr Jin said.

“An important measure of our success will be the extent to which the Bank can help to raise third-party funds. This is a priority for us and we intend to play a catalytic role in mobilising additional public and private financing, including institutional investors,” Mr Jin said.

Mr Jin earlier said AIIB looks forward to new members joining it from early in 2017. While a number of Asian and EU countries joined the bank, the US and Japan stayed out.