New Delhi [India]: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday lauded the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which is investing in various infrastructure projects of India, saying India aspires to improve the quality of life, especially for those living in rural areas.
Jaitley said rural infrastructure must be improved in order to bring about a change in ‘quality of life’ of people residing in villages.
“India aspires to not only conventional infrastructure but also rural infrastructure so that the quality of life, for those people can improve effectively,” said Jaitley while addressing the third annual meeting of AIIB here.
Jaitley further said that he was glad that India agreed to be an active participant in AIIB, asserting the bank started working effectively in less than three years.
“The bank has come of age within a limited period. There is a pipeline of many projects and the bank has been at a forefront of some of these active projects,” he added.
Jaitley emphasised the fact that infrastructure has been a top priority for the government.
He further said that Asia suffers from “infrastructure deficit” which has been growing only from the last few decades.
“Asia in terms of poverty alleviation needs to grow faster in able to bring up the standard of living of its own people and cover for the infrastructure deficit that they have,” said Jaitley.
Speaking about the success of China in covering up the infrastructure deficit faster, Jaitley observed that Indian too has kept infrastructure at the centre stage and is working towards its growth.
He added that they are also working effectively on highways, airports, ports, power productivity.
“There are areas like railways where we have an existing infrastructure but need to modernise and hasten the pace of that improvement,” said Jaitley.
According to reports, India has emerged as a top borrower from AIIB with USD 1.5 billion worth of loans last year and USD three billion more in the pipeline. (ANI)