China-led infrastructure bank eyes India for first loan

Jessica Morris
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The AIIB is is touted as a rival to Western-centric financial institutions (Source: Getty)

India is in line to receive one of the first loans from the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) later this year.

The AIIB was created to fund energy, transport and infrastructure projects in Asia, and is touted as a rival to Western-centric financial institutions like the World Bank.

Indian officials said today that the cash would be used for a $500m (£347m) solar power project.

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This is in line with prime minister Narendra Modi's plan of expanding installed solar capacity to 100 gigawatts by 2022.

“In about six months, funds could start flowing from AIIB,” Tarun Kapur, joint secretary at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, told Reuters.

While the AIIB didn't comment directly on borrowing by India, it said there are a number of projects in the pipeline.

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“It is expected that the first loan decisions will be taken later this year,” the bank said.

India is predicted to be the most important driver of energy demand growth globally in the years to come.

It recently revealed plans for regulatory reforms to unlock oil and gas resources worth almost $40bn (£28.2bn).

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