New Delhi: India has a huge unmet need for investment in infrastructure, estimated to the tune of Rs43 trillion or about $646 billion over the next five years. 70% of which will be required in the power, roads and urban infrastructure sectors, finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Saturday.
Speaking at the inauguration of the 2nd annual meeting of New Development Bank by the five member BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) countries, Jaitley said in emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs), the overall growth is picking up, although growth prospects diverge across countries. “But there are newer challenges, most notably a possible shift towards inward-looking policy platforms and protectionism, a sharper than expected tightening in global financial conditions that could interact with balance sheet weaknesses in parts of the euro area and increased geopolitical tensions, including unpredictable economic policy of USA,” he saids.
Amidst the challenges, Jaitley said lie the opportunities with the estimated unmet demand for infrastructure investment in emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs) is gargantuan, estimated at above $1 trillion a year by the World Bank. “Most importantly, the EMDEs need to carry out this huge investment in a sustainable manner. The established MDBs are now capital constrained, and with their over emphasis on processes, are unable to meet this financing challenge. A Bank like the NDB is well poised to step into the void,” he added.
Chinese finance minister Xiao Jie speaking at the event said BRICS countries should work towards reforming the global economic system since voice of the emerging economies that contribute 80% of global growth remains “gravely inadequate” in multilateral institutions.
Jaitley said India has proposed projects worth about $2 billion for NDB funding, which he hopes will be taken up by the Board expeditiously. “We shall work with the NDB to develop a strong shelf of projects in specific areas such as Smart Cities, renewable energy, urban transport, including Metro Railways, clean coal technology, solid waste management and urban water supply,” he added.
In the annual meeting, the five member board of governors will deliberate on Bank’s strategy for the next 5 years, including issues such as the Bank’s capital, loan portfolio and expansion of Membership. “The uniqueness of NDB should lie in faster loan appraisal, a lean organizational structure resulting in lower cost of loans, a variety of financing instruments, including local currency financing, adoption of country system whenever possible and flexibility in responding to the needs of the clients. These are the elements which would make NDB truly a “new” institution, and make it distinct from older MDBs (multilateral development banks),” Jailey said.