India is second largest shareholder of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB): Piyush Goyal

Union Minister of Railways and Coal Piyush Goyal on Sunday revealed that India was the second largest shareholder of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and that almost a quarter of all funds committed by AIIB have been for Indian projects.

Speaking to the press at the inauguration of the India Infrastructure Expo ahead of the third annual meeting of the AIIB, he said, “India is the second largest shareholder of the AIIB. We are also the largest recipient of concessional finance for various infrastructure projects.”

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“Nearly 25% of the total funds committed by AIIB have been committed for projects in India, both in the government sector and the private sector, which is a matter of great satisfaction,” he added.

Goyal also said that the AIIB had sanctioned an investment into the National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF).

“I was also given the good news that today the AIIB Board has approved an investment in the NIIF, the first tranche of $100mn has got approved today, which will be followed by a similar tranche,” Goyal said.

He was similarly elated with India getting the opportunity to host AIIB’s third annual meeting.

“India is extremely delighted to host the 3rd Annual General Meeting. The weather has welcomed all delegates with a delightful Monsoon and for all us Mumbaikars, Monsoon is a great time. I am personally delighted to be hosting this very important general meeting of AIIB and I thank all the agencies who have supported this,” he said.

“The AIIB is an apolitical institution. It is interested in transport, energy, water and waste management which relate to social requirement of people,” Alexander said, adding that Egypt is the only country outside Asian nations which has been provided financial support for projects.

Commenting on the third AIIB meeting, he observed, “The third annual meeting would help us to learn from ideas and experiences of people from India and help shape the policies of the bank.” Earlier, Economic Affairs Secretary SC Garg said, “The AIIB is an important vehicle to multiply investments in infrastructure. There would be leverage of 10 to 12 times on original investment resulting up to $2.4 billion.”

Alexander further said it will not be able to comment on internal relations of member-states.

The AIIB with 83 member nations operates and invests in sustainable infrastructure. AIIB vice-president Danny Alexander said: “The thrust is to support any project which comply to zero corruption, absolute accountability and environment concerns which are our defined policies.”

Garg said no one should consider the AIIB is dominated by a member-country (China) and stressed that the AIIB is as much a Chinese bank as the World Bank is American. Alexander also underlined the same.

To a question on India banning Chinese companies, Garg clarified that investments from companies from the Northern neighbour are welcome, but for concerns on security and not meeting local procurement norms under the initiatives to push local manufacturing.

Garg said the proposal to have an independent credit rating agency for the BRICS nations is on track and will be discussed at a meeting in Johannesburg next month.

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