Saturday, February 23, 2008

ADB to lend 1.5 bn dollars for Bihar

Multilateral funding agency Asian Development Bank will lend about 1.45 billion dollars for the development of infrastructure and agriculture to reduce rural poverty in Bihar.

The bank would lend for the projects such as Agribusiness Infrastructure Development Project (about 250 million dollar), Power Sector Development Programme (500 million dollar), Urban Infrastructure Development Sector Programme (150 million dollar), state Roads Investment Programme (300 million dollar).

According to the ADB, 'India: Country Operations Business Plan 2008-2010', through Agribusiness Infrastructure Development Project poverty would be reduced through increased private partnership in agricultural marketing and integration of small farmers into organised value chains.

Recently global financing agencies, including the World Bank have expressed keenness to invest in construction, power, health, tourism and rural development in Bihar.

Head of the World Bank (WB), ADB, UK-based Department of International Development (DFID) and Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC) had their first joint meeting in Bihar in the presence of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in January.

According to Kumar, each of the 8,712 gram panchayat in the state required Rs 35-40 lakh for construction of a state secretariat-like building.

A whopping Rs 3,000 crore was estimated to be spent for construction of these buildings, which would be tremor-proof and have enough space to shelter those affected by floods.