1. Counter to China’s One Belt One Road policy? India plans to develop roads in neighboring countries to strengthen its position

Counter to China’s One Belt One Road policy? India plans to develop roads in neighboring countries to strengthen its position

India plans to develop roads in neighboring countries as it seeks to strengthen its position in South Asia amid the growing influence of China.

By: | Published: May 11, 2017 3:55 PM
This includes a billion spend in countries that are part of President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road development initiative, according to a report by the official Xinhua News Agency. (Reuters)

India plans to develop roads in neighboring countries as it seeks to strengthen its position in South Asia amid the growing influence of China. State-owned National Highways Authority of India plans to build roads abroad even as it falls short of construction targets at home and seeks to raise funds overseas to finance local projects.

“There are lots of offers for us,” India’s Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said in an interview in New Delhi on Wednesday. The road-building authority, or NHAI, will bid for projects in nations that are part of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and has begun talks with the Sri Lankan government, he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting the island nation on May 11 and 12, at a time when India is intensifying efforts to push back rival China which has been investing in projects in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan. This includes a $50 billion spend in countries that are part of President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road development initiative, according to a report by the official Xinhua News Agency.

India is funding a $350 million development of an 84-tank oil storage facility and has plans to set up a refinery in Sri Lanka. It has also signed agreements worth $9.24 billion with Bangladesh to fund power plants and supply liquefied natural gas.

Local Shortfall

NHAI is at the center of India’s infrastructure ambitions as Modi’s government races to meet its $387-billion target to build roads and ports to improve connectivity in the world’s fastest-growing major economy before national elections in 2019. It however fell short of the government’s highways construction target of 42 kilometers a day, developing an average 23 kilometers of roads every day.

Watch this also:


Delays in acquiring land and environment clearances, poorly performing contractors and public protests slowed construction of highways, junior road minister P. Radhakrishnan told the nation’s Parliament in March. The government is betting that cheaper overseas funds will help it meet its road development target.

“Land acquisition costs have increased. So our mission is to see how we can reduce the cost of construction,” Gadkari said. “We’re trying our level best to see how we can make roads more economically viable,” he added.

NHAI’s first Masala bond offer worth 50 billion rupees ($774 million) is expected to list on the London Stock Exchange shortly and the government expects “competitive and attractive” rates for its bonds from insurers, pension funds and Korean and Japanese bankers, Gadkari said.

  1. J
    Jainam parmar
    May 16, 2017 at 1:55 pm
    Happy job sec
    Reply
  2. U
    Usha
    May 15, 2017 at 4:38 pm
    Though cooperation always benefits both side, but in this case I fell India decision at this stage is correct. China is on the most unfavorable side for trade with Europe, Middle East and Africa as compared to India's geographical location. China is dying to have cheaper land routes for trading, because sea route through Singapore is time taking and expensive. India has so far not taken much advantage over China though having great edge for shorter trade distances from these places. China has to make huge investment through CPEC, though India has complete port facility on western coastal side. India should realize and take timely advantage of its geographical location and make strategic plans accordingly and can act as link with eastern nations.
    Reply

Go to Top