Investment could be followed by a similar tranche, says Finance Minister Goyal
The board of China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved $100 million investment in the National Infrastructure and Investment Fund (NIIF) which could be followed by a similar tranche later, Piyush Goyal, the minister in charge of finance, said.
“I was given the good news that today[Sunday] the AIIB Board has approved an investment in the NIIF (National Infrastructure and Investment Fund), the first tranche of $100mn has got approved today,” Mr. Goyal said on the sidelines of India Infrastructure Expo and ahead of the third-AIIB annual meeting that starts on Monday.
This is the first time that the India is hosting the annual meeting of AIIB, which would be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.
India is the second largest shareholder in AIIB after China and is also the largest recipient of funds from the multilateral agency.
“Nearly 25% of the total funds committed by AIIB have been committed for projects in India, both in the government sector and the private sector, which is a matter of great satisfaction,” Mr. Goyal said.
Earlier in the day, Economic Affairs Secretary S.C. Garg told the media that there will be a leverage of 10-12 times on the original investment, which can result in up to $2.4 billion flowing into infrastructure projects.
The Beijing-headquartered agency, which started operations in January 2016, has approved $ 4.4 billion investments so far, including $ 1.2 billion in India, making the country the largest beneficiary so far.
Mr. Garg said the government had sent a proposal to the AIIB seeking $475 million for the Mumbai Urban Transport Project-III which had already been approved in-principle.
Belt Road initiative
Asked about India’s reservation on China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which includes China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that goes through Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, AIIB Vice-President Danny Alexander said that the AIIB was an apolitical organisation that invested in projects as per a board policy that was decided by the member-States.
He added that he would not be able to comment on internal relations of member-States. AIIB had 86 countries as its members.
An earlier version of this article referred to Mr. Piyush Goyal as ‘Finance Minister’. This has been updated to ‘minister in charge of finance’.