ADB’s sovereign lending to India stood at $2.6 bn in 2023

  • The ADB plan is to fund the government's priority agendas like job-creation, infrastructure-building, green growth and economic inclusiveness.

Rhik Kundu
First Published29 May 2024
ADB also extended $23.53 million in technical assistance and $4.1 million in grants under the sovereign portfolio. (Photo: Reuters)
ADB also extended $23.53 million in technical assistance and $4.1 million in grants under the sovereign portfolio. (Photo: Reuters)

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has made commitments worth $2.6 billion in 2023 to fund the government's priority agendas like job-creation, infrastructure-building, green growth and economic inclusiveness, the multilateral development bank said on Wednesday.

ADB said it also extended $23.53 million in technical assistance and $4.1 million in grants, apart from committing funds of over $1 billion for private sector projects during 2023.

The commitments worth $2.6 billion are for sovereign projects, which aim to strengthen urban development, support industrial corridor development, promote power sector reforms, build climate resilience, support horticulture, and enhance connectivity.

“We will continue to focus on projects and programs that accelerate India’s structural transformation, create jobs, address infrastructure gaps, promote green growth, and foster social and economic inclusiveness while deploying smart technologies and innovations,” said ADB country director for India Mio Oka.

“To maximize the development impact of our operations ADB will promote gender empowerment, domestic resource mobilization, regional integration, knowledge solutions, and capacity development," she added.

India one of the largest shareholders of ADB

India is a founding member and one of the largest shareholders of ADB, which is headquartered in the Philippines.

The agency focuses on development in the Asia and Pacific regions.

Projects funded by ADB in India include the Visakhapatnam–Chennai Industrial Corridor Development project, road connectivity projects in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, the expansion of the Delhi–Meerut rapid rail transit corridor, horticulture development projects in Himachal Pradesh.

"ADB prioritizes projects on basic services, critical infrastructure and services, institutional strength, and private sector development through sovereign operations in low-income states," the ADB statement said.

"Support for more developed states focuses on transformational programs with policy and knowledge advice, combined with non-sovereign operations," it added.

Read | S&P Global revises Indian economy outlook to positive

As of 31 December 2023, ADB had committed 623 public sector loans, grants, and technical assistance totalling $55.3 billion to India, with its current sovereign portfolio in India including 67 loans worth $14.15 billion.

Some of the other MDBs, which have backed key projects in India, include the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

ADB urged to extend more finance  

Interestingly, MDBs have been urged to make more finance available to emerging and developing economies (EDEs) for meeting development needs, mitigating climate risks and insulating from global shocks.

Under the Indian presidency of the G20 in 2023, an expert committee headed by economists N.K. Singh and Lawrence Summers have recommended the need for MDBs to increase their annual spending by $3 trillion by 2030, including $1.8 trillion for additional climate action and $1.2 trillion for achieving other sustainable development goals (SDGs).

In a two-part report, released last year, Singh and Summers emphasised the need for MDBs to mobilise $240 billion in private capital by shifting from risk avoidance to informed risk-taking, apart from introducing new lending instruments like pooled portfolio guarantees and hybrid capital.

Also read | Spending on rural job guarantee scheme MGNREGS overshoots FY24 estimates by 23%

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