New Development Bank keen to fund Indian projects: Kamath

Mumbai, June 25 (IANS) The New Development Bank (NDB), formerly referred as BRICS Bank, is looking forward to consider some Indian infrastructure projects for funding when it starts functioning next April, its president K.V.Kamath said on Thursday.

“I hope to work with BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and other member countries over the next few months so as to build project pipelines by April 2016.

“I am engaged with the government to ensure that there are some Indian projects in the infrastructure space that can be taken up then,” Kamath said at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) National Council Meeting held here.

He said that the road projects in the country could be monetized in addition to providing funding for fresh projects, and the former will help remove budgetary strains on the government.

According to Kamath, NDB will have different mindset that is required for developing countries and would be more flexible in its operations unlike other institutions like the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.

“Its policy mindset will be driven by all stakeholders’ and not just the lender’s. An important aspect will be with regard to the speed of lending for projects posed to the institution,” he said.

Kamath said that NDB would bring in product diversification by introducing capital market products and will be open for equity infusion while currency diversification would be kept in mind while funding.

He said there would be no pro-rating for funding and assistance will be provided to founding countries as well as member countries.

Kamath, who is expected to move to Shanghai this July to start the process of team building, said the reason that the word BRICS was not included in the name of the bank was that new partner countries may eventually join the BRICS group of emerging economies.

According to him, NDB will have vice presidents from three other nations and its charter will be mostly on the lines of that of World Bank, Asian Development Bank and private multilateral lenders.

Stressing that the NDB is not competing with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) founded by the Chinese government, Kamath said that the bank will surely seek to co-operate with the AIIB on large-ticket projects.

Referring to the global economic scenario, he said that the strengthening of the Southern region’s economies, balance sheets and surpluses are changing equations and this is where a bank rooted in the region can understand its ethos, mindsets and needs.

He added that huge opportunities are expected to arise for government, private sector and banks in the region.

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