Ahead of the annual meeting of its board of governors here next week, a senior official from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) today said it will pump USD 1.9 billion into various Indian projects.
The country, the second largest shareholder in the Beijing-headquartered lender, is already the largest borrower accounting for commitments to the tune of USD 1.2 billion of the overall USD 4.5-billion committed so far.
"We have another USD 1.9 billion for Indian projects in the pipeline," vice-president and corporate secretary Danny Alexander told PTI here.
He said the project pipeline includes an investment in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), the Mumbai Metro, major irrigation and flood management projects in Bengal, making of Andhra's new capital city Amravathi, and two more projects in Andhra focused on rural roads and urban water supply.
The projects to which the USD 1.2 billion have been committed include a rural connectivity project in MP, Bengaluru Metro, power transmission in Tamil Nadu, rural roads in Gujarat, the power-for-all project in Andhra and a USD 150 -million investment in an infrastructure fund floated by Morgan Stanley, Alexander said.
When asked if the any of these projects will get finalised at the next week's annual meeting, he replied in the negative, saying the bank's directors take a call on the lending proposals and not the governors, which include the finance ministers of all shareholder states.
Alexander said the forthcoming annual meeting, which is the third in its history and the first being held in the country, will concentrate on getting the private sector to play a more active role in funding the infrastructure needs of their respective nations, adding the resources available at AIIB's command may not be sufficient to address such needs.
"Infrastructure needs in India and the whole of Asia are so huge that they cannot be only met by the AIIB and by other multilateral agencies and governments," Alexander said.
To achieve the same objective, the summit will be having an Asian Infrastructure Forum, where the member governments will present projects to financiers and other experts for possible deals in the future.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be attending the meet being held on June 25-26 in the Nariman Point business district. Over 2,000 delegates from member- countries are expected to attend the two-day summit, which will have 22 seminars on dedicated topics.
A minister from the Chinese finance ministry is expected to represent the largest shareholder of the AIIB, while others attending the meet will include the British Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond and other ministers from member countries, he said.
The next annual meet of the body is set to be held in Luxemburg, Alexander said, adding non-Asian members have grown to 30, taking the overall memberships to 86 now.
Seeking to dispel misperceptions that is an alternative to the Bretton Woods Institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, he said the AIIB believes in collaborating with them and working together and not replacing or competing with them.
"We are a partner with the existing institutions and not trying to compete with them," Alexander said, adding a majority of its projects have World Bank or Asian Development Bank as co-financiers.
The AIIB is also interested in eventually taking equity in infra projects, he said, adding the investment in the Morgan Stanley fund is a precursor to the same.
With sovereign wealth funds and pension funds taking an increased interest in the country, he said the infra needs of the country are so high that it requires for infrastructure and the AIIB would like to "crowd-in" investments from other investors in projects.