Japan to give over $2 bn loan for freight corridor


    By Ranjana Narayan

    Phnom Penh, (IANS) Japan Tuesday said it would be announcing loans of $2.26 billion for the second phase of the ambitious Delhi-Mumbai freight corridor and also a third infrastructural project in south India.

    Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda conveyed this to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at their bilateral meeting here Tuesday, according to official sources.

    The two prime ministers, who could not meet Nov 18 for their annual summit meeting due to political developments in Japan, met at the Peace Palace here on the sidelines of the East Asia summit.

    Noda informed Manmohan Singh that “Japan will be announcing the second round of Yen loans under ODA (Official Development Assistance) for the second phase of the DFC (Dedicated Freight Corridor) and a third infrastructural project in South India, where Japanese companies have a good presence”.

    “In the course of the discussion, Prime Minister Noda also mentioned Japanese interest in continuing the consultation on the high speed railways,” an official source said after the talks.

    The ODA is estimated to be 184 billion yen. India is the largest recipient of ODA from Japan.

    Noda also expressed happiness at being able to meet Manmohan Singh to underline the close strategic and global partnership between the two countries.

    The Japanese prime minister said he wanted to discuss the next steps forward in the relationship since they could not meet in Tokyo for the Annual Summit.

    He emphasised on the political and defence dialogue, the ongoing cooperation between the navies and coast guards, the official source added.

    Manmohan Singh welcomed the ongoing projects under the ODA, but emphasised that India’s priority is investment by Japanese business in infrastructure projects. He referred to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, which is heavily funded by Japanese loans, as a fine example that other cities too want to emulate, the official added.

    Both the prime ministers expressed happiness at the signing of a MoU on rare earths and an agreement on social security inked in Tokyo Nov 16.

    On Monday, the two prime ministers had a discussion on regional and international issues during a gala dinner hosted by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen at the Diamond Island Convention and Exhibition Centre.