Kerala has pitched for Rs 1,994-crore from India’s Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) credit pool, worth Rs 2,17,000 crore. This would be mainly for improving infrastructure in power, fisheries and drinking water supply sectors.
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Japan visit, JICA had offered soft loan to India to the tune of $350 million for infrastructure development. The interest would be as low as 0.8% to 1.4%. Following this offer, Prime Minister had, in November, asked all state governments to come out with viable project proposals to tap the JICA loan effectively.
The state has prepared a dossier that has a clutch of innovative proposals.
“In the power sector, we have proposals for setting up floating solar panels on water bodies like lakes and surfaces of dam reservoirs. This would be simultaneously cost-efficient and space-efficient. Similary, in the fisheries sector, the state is planning an oceanarium-cum-marine biological park,” State finance minister K M Mani told FE.
The biggest chunk of the loan would be spent on drinking water. As much as Rs 1,247 crore is earmarked for setting up an effective drinking water distribution system.“What’s significant is that this would be almost a one-time expenditure,” says CP John, member, State Planning Board.
Considering the state’s long coastline, the government has also included projects for the fisheries sector in the JICA loan proposals.