While lacking the scale, or even the ambition, of China’s BRI, India’s development cooperation partnership based on concessional Lines of Credit (LOC) has been carrying out economic projects in 63 countries around the world.
There are currently 279 LOCs, worth $28 billion, extended to these countries located in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Caribbean and Oceania, the government informed Parliament last week in response to a question on what India was doing to counter BRI’s economic and foreign policy issue.
“Of this, 254 projects aggregating nearly $4.70 billion have been completed, while 194 projects worth nearly $19 billion are under implementation. These include 94 connectivity projects in five countries in India’s immediate neighbourhood being taken up with LOC worth nearly $6.6 billion,” junior minister V Muraleedharan said in response to a question.
India, he said, had a robust development cooperation agenda that constituted a significant dimension of its close and multi-faceted ties with many partner countries, including in India’s neighbourhood.
“Extension of Government of India Lines of Credit on concessional terms is a key component of this development partnership in diverse areas of socio-economic development such as power, transport, connectivity, agriculture and irrigation, manufacturing industries, water and sanitation etc,” he said.
As per government, while expansion and strengthening of connectivity is an integral part of India’s economic and diplomatic initiatives, it is of the firm belief that connectivity initiatives must be based on universally recognised international norms. They must follow principles of openness, transparency and financial responsibility.