Finance Minister Arun Jaitley sought higher funding for India from the Beijing-based AIIB, and said that multilateral lending is needed to bridge the infrastructure gap in the Asian region.
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has in the past 2 years approved five projects in India envisaging a total commitment of more than $1 billion, and has a pipeline of 12 projects involving assistance of $3.5 billion, according to a Finance Ministry official.
Addressing the curtain raiser event of AIIB’s 3rd annual conference, Jaitley said that in the hindsight “I am glad that India decided to be a very active participant in the AIIB”.
India was debating earlier whether it should be a part of the AIIB. India holds 7.74 per cent equity in the multilateral bank, next only to China (29.9 per cent).
Jaitley further said that the bank has started funding effectivelyand should contribute actively in infrastructure development of the Asian region which has suffered from lack of basic facilities.
It will also fuel growth in the region and help overcome “infrastructure deficit”, he said.
The Indian Government, hxe said, gives top priority to infrastructure development, specially in the rural areas.
AIIB, which has 84 members, started functioning in 2016. It will hold its third annual meeting in Mumbai on June 25-26, preceded by events in 8 cities.
Jaitley also unveiled the logo & theme of the annual meeting AIIB along with the bank’s president Jin Liqun.
Jin said India is the second largest shareholder in AIIB and the country has been playing a very important role in running the multilateral bank.
Noting that the infrastructure sector was the highest priority in India’s Budget for 2018-19, he said, “we want to meet infrastructure investment requirements of India by using innovative ways”. Jin added: “We want best use of our investments to stimulate India’s infrastructure development.”