NEW DELHI(PTI):Government on Wednesday eased the norms for bilateral Official Development Assistance (ODA) to enable the country access assistance from other countries, a move which will promote ‘Make in India’ campaign by obtaining new technology and boost infrastructure.
Under the modified guidelines approved by the Union Cabinet, Finance Ministry and External Affairs Ministry, with the approval of the Prime Minister, can accept bilateral assistance from countries in addition to existing bilateral partners, including the US, the UK, Japan and Germany.
“It is expected that by accepting offers of special loan for projects in infrastructure sector and in sectors of strategic importance on mutually agreed basis, the extensive capital requirement in these sectors will be fulfilled,” an official statement said.
The decision is also expected to augment the funding of projects in infrastructure and sectors of strategic importance, it said.
“The scheme will promote ‘Make in India’ and wherever possible, transfer of technology making further innovations possible,” it said, adding the scheme would promote economic activity, boost employment generation and infrastructure development.
Under the existing norms, bilateral assistance can be accepted from bilateral partners like the US, the UK, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Russia, European Commission and European Union members.
As per the modified guidelines, bilateral assistance for a minimum of $1 billion, of which 50% should be untied loans, can be accepted for capital intensive projects and other projects of special nature.
Briefing reporters about the cabinet decision, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said the move will help India in developing infrastructure in expeditious manner.
As per the conditions, there shall be a provision for removing sourcing condition and to go for International Competitive Bidding in case of lack of adequate response in the bidding process.
“Not more than 30% of the total value of goods and services should be insisted to be sourced from the funding country,” it said.
The annual rate of interest on special loans shall not exceed 0.3% (including all other applicable, charges) and the tenor shall not be less than 40 years (with 10 years of moratorium on repayment), it added.
“Individual projects with a minimum project cost of $250 million will only qualify for such special loans,” it said adding “any project(s) implemented by state government (either solely or jointly) will be done with the concurrence of the concerned state government”.