The Times Of Africa|July 2017
An interview with Mr. Shaktikanta Das, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
Please elaborate on the role of the Indian Government and EXIM Bank in the implementation of development projects in Africa.
The Export-Import Bank of India or the EXIM Bank mainly offers‘Line of Credit’. The announcement of a US$ 10 billion line of credit over the next five years, by the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi,at the India Africa Forum Summit 2015 was a great success. It marked a new beginning in our approach to engage with African countries in a more constructive manner.Currently, the EXIM Bank of India is extending that Line of Credit, under which loan is given for various African projects at a concessional rate of interest. The Government of India provides that interest differential between the concessional rate and the market rate of interest.
Therefore, African projects that have multiplier effects get loan at concessional rates, which they use for implementing projects in the area of infrastructure, water-supply and the like.
Apart from that, the Government of India also extends its grand support by contributing to capacity building, Information Technology (IT)training, technical assistance and higher education.
Is the EXIM Bank able to cater to the local needs of the population of Africa?
The EXIM Bank has a long-standing presence in various African countries. Our officials are very active and they are interacting at all levels at this annual meeting of the African Development Bank. Most of the credit which the EXIM bank extends is demand-driven. It is not decided by the bank that they will give loan to a certain project – it is, as I mentioned, demand-driven. Individual countries identify what is their important project and then they approach the EXIM Bank.
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