India to borrow $1 bn from NDB for Covid reduction schemes

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 16

The Centre on Wednesday signed a $ 1 billion (Rs 7,500 crore) agreement with the New Development Bank (NDB) to fund its rural employment and infrastructure schemes.  

The programmes will help mitigate the adverse economic impact of Covid pandemic and enable economic recovery in rural areas, said an official news release.

India has already borrowed $ 1 billion from NDB which was jointly set up by the BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.  

The loan agreement was signed by Baldeo Purushartha from the Union Ministry of Finance and Xian Zhu of NDB.

The latest tranche will fund the creation of durable rural infrastructure assets and generation of employment opportunities for rural poor, especially migrant workers. Natural resource management works will facilitate economic activity and employment generation will stimulate rural demand to combat the pandemic-triggered decline in economic activity, said the news release.

A month after the Covid outbreak, BRICS had resolved to provide its members $ 15 billion in emergency aid from NDB. Having borrowed $ 2 billion so far, India could get another $ 1 billion from NDB.

India is also borrowing from NDB to fund infrastructure projects such as the Delhi-Meerut rapid rail for which it signed an agreement last month to borrow $ 500 million. Headquartered in Shanghai, NDB was headed by former ICICI Bank chief K V Kamath for five years. He has been replaced by a former Minister from Brazil and a former banker from India, Anil Kishora, is one of the Vice Presidents.

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