Of the COVID-19-related assistance, USD 1.5 billion was towards vaccine procurement and USD 300 million to strengthen primary health care in urban areas and the country’s future pandemic preparedness.
The ADB’s regular funding programme to India is made to support transport, urban development, finance, agriculture, and skills building.
ADB Country Director for India Takeo Konishi said, “The ADB’s operations continue to support the Government of India’s fight against COVID-19 and its other development priorities such as managing urbanisation, raising industrial competitiveness to create more jobs, improving connectivity and enhancing skills.”
Konishi added that to maximise the development impact of its operations, ADB adopts a multidisciplinary approach and incorporates Finance Plus elements based on its comparative advantage, knowledge base and value addition.
He said the ADB will continue to support less-developed states through the provision of basic infrastructure and institutional capacity building while pursuing transformative investments in the more economically advanced states.
The agency extended a USD 2.2-billion support for 12 state projects, committed to its geographically balanced programming.
The funding body said its strategic engagement with states will include knowledge support to navigate their emerging development challenges.
The ADB’s project portfolio in 2021 reflected the Indian government’s focus on transforming cities into economically vibrant and sustainable communities.
This included financing for India’s national urban flagship missions to enhance access to water, sanitation, and affordable housing and promote performance-based fiscal transfer to urban local bodies; enhancing mobility through metro network expansion in Bengaluru; and strengthening flood-risk management in Chennai’s urban areas.
Support to the government’s National Industrial Corridor Development Programme will help enhance the country’s manufacturing competitiveness while a connectivity improvement project will stimulate industrial development in the ADB-supported Chennai-Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor.
Other projects fund rural connectivity improvement, agribusiness network development, the establishment of a skills university to promote industry-aligned skills, and capacity building for project design, the ADB said.
The ADB’s India portfolio comprised 69 projects worth USD 15.5 billion as of December 31, 2021.
In addition to sovereign loans, the ADB also committed USD 274 million to private sector projects in 2021 for COVID-19 support, highways improvement, energy efficiency, affordable housing and increasing farmer incomes.
Going forward, Konishi said the ADB will assist India’s fast, green and inclusive economic recovery from the pandemic with expanded investments in health and education; micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises; public sector management and climate initiatives.