The uncertainty over Japanese funding of the ambitious Rs 4,05,000 crore Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, one of the largest infrastructure projects coming up in the country and the expansion of Rs 35,000 crore Delhi Metro Phase -III has been finally put to rest.
Japan will not reduce or reassess its loan assistance to these as well as over 10 proposed key infrastructure project in India that are dependent on loan assistance from the country, in the aftermath of the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan on March 11. Loan assistance that Japan has already committed to the 100 ongoing projects would also not be affected.
Immediately after the disaster, Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), one of the biggest bilateral aid agencies in the world, had feared that development assistance to India might get affected.
But the Japanese government has, in the last week of April, decided against curtailing development assistance to projects in India.
Shinichi Yamanaka, chief representative, JICA India Office, told HT in an exclusive interview that the agency is not going to reassess or reduce its committed loan package to India amounting to R11,000 crore for the financial year 2010-11.
"There is not going to be any effect on either the ongoing projects or the proposed new projects," Yamanaka told HT.
JICA has, only last month, received request for loan assistance from Indian government for over 10 projects including Delhi Metro Phase III expansion, Chennai Ring Road and Dedicated Freight Corridor, among others for the financial year 2011-12.
"We are examining the proposal and a decision will be taken shortly. We expect to make commitment to the tune of approximately R12,000 crore in 2011-12 as well," said Yamanaka.
India is the largest beneficiary of Japanese loan assistance after Vietnam and Indonesia and has received 1279.2 billion Japanese yen (R70,600 crore based on current exchange rate) as development assistance in the last eight years.
Yamanaka said that of the R11,000 crore loan that JICA had committed in 2010-11, it has already disbursed approximately R7,000 crore.
These will aid projects including cleaning of river Yamuna that runs through Delhi, a crop diversification project in Himachal Pradesh and afforestation project in Tamil Nadu.