World Bank's $2.96-billion loan for roads may be split into tranches

Keeping in mind the immediacy to develop roads, the finance ministry has said that it has currently sought $1 billion from the World Bank out of the $2.96 billion sanctioned, so that the amount can be paid back on time

The World Bank's $2.96-billion (about Rs12,385.90 crore) loan that the transport ministry has sought is likely to come in tranches, with the finance ministry favouring only $1 billion currently over repayment concerns, reports PTI.

"Roads are a multiplier for the economy. Keeping in mind the immediacy to develop roads, we have currently sought $1 billion from the World Bank out of the $2.96 billion sanctioned, so that it can be paid back on time. The remaining will come in tranches," a senior finance ministry official said.

The transport ministry had sought the loan in August 2009 for double-laning of 6,372 km of single-laned highways, out of the total 19,702 km single-laned ones in the country, under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase IV.

The World Bank had, in December last year, given an 'in-principle' approval to the total loan. "Of this amount ($2.96 billion), the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) has currently requested the World Bank to deliver a loan of $1 billion and the balance in the next country strategy period starting from 2012," the World Bank said in an email reply.

The World Bank has a periodic country strategy for monetary assistance to different nations. The latest one is up to 2012 for India, the multilateral lender said.

Neither the DEA official nor the World Bank gave specifics of the terms of the loan.

"A clearer picture on the scope of this assistance will be available in the next couple of months," the World Bank's email added.
 

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