New Delhi (Sputnik) — India has sought greater assistance from the Beijing-based multilateral lending agency the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in order to bridge the "infrastructure deficit," which is aimed to improve the quality of life for the rural poor. The AIIB has already committed more than $1 billion worth of assistance for five projects in India during the last two years. Moreover, it has also approved assistance worth $3.5 billion for twelve other projects.
India's Minister of Finance Arun Jaitley said that in a short span of fewer than three years, the bank has already started functioning "very effectively."
"I am glad that the bank has started functioning effectively and should contribute actively to 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'," Jaitley said at the curtain raising ceremony of the AIIB's 3rd annual conference, which is scheduled for June 25-26 in Mumbai.
The Finance Minister, Shri @arunjaitley said that AIIB would play an important role in development of Infrastructure in the country.— Ministry of Finance (@FinMinIndia) February 27, 2018
According to D.J. Pandian, the AIIB's chief investment officer, the agency is especially interested in making investments in India's energy, roads, and urban development projects, and the bank will examine allotting more funds for such projects next year.
India hosting 3rd Annual Meeting of AIIB in Mumbai on 25-26th June. With curtain raiser today and eight run up events, we are geared up to bring together over 3000 participants to help Asian countries find solutions for infrastructure deficit to make 21st century Asia’s century.— Subhash Chandra Garg (@SecretaryDEA) February 27, 2018
— Ministry of Finance (@FinMinIndia) February 27, 2018
The AIIB is a multilateral development bank founded to bring countries together to address Asia's daunting infrastructure needs. Headquartered in Beijing, the AIIB began operations in January 2016 and has now grown to 84 approved members worldwide. China is the largest shareholder in the bank followed by India and Russia.