World Bank mulls investing in $11b India fund
The World Bank is exploring whether to invest in an $11 billion debt fund the Indian government will roll out by next year as part of a massive push to its infrastructure sector, the bank's India head said.
Roberto Zagha said India was making progress in tackling procedural hassles that have held back faster infrastructure growth but a major roadblock to more private investment was a shortage of bankable projects.
The World Bank was likely to lend around $15 billion to $20 billion to India's infrastructure sector in the next five years. Typically the bank's lending to the sector ranges between 40-60 percent of the total annual lending.
The government has announced the $11 billion debt fund as a part of a series of recent measures to overhaul India's creaking infrastructure, which has long been seen as hobbling faster growth in Asia's third-largest economy. A similar fund is also under consideration for the power sector.
"It is being explored," Zagha said in an interview as part of the Reuters India Investment Summit, when asked whether the World Bank would contribute to the fund.
"Our role is not entirely clear, whether there is a need for finance from the bank, or whether there is a need for expertise from the bank," he added.