US approves loans, investments worth over $340 million for projects in India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US President Donald Trump in New Delhi in February 2020.

The US has approved loans and investments worth more than $340 million for Indian firms and organisations as part of its efforts to uplift under-served communities around the world against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Most of these loans were part of $1 billion in investments approved recently by the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC)’s board of directors to advance development in Africa, Latin America, the Indo-Pacific, and emerging markets.

Several of the projects will support developing countries reeling from the impact of Covid-19 and include first transactions using equity and technical assistance, said a statement from the US embassy.

A $142-million loan to help ReNew Power construct and operate a 300 MW solar power plant in Rajasthan is aimed at strengthening energy security in India. Another $50-million loan will enable Sitara Solar Energy Private Ltd to build and operate a 100 MW solar power plant in Rajasthan to enhance power supply.

A $50-million loan will help Northern Arc Capital extend loans to businesses that expand access to water, sanitation and food or advance women’s economic empowerment.

A $27.3-million loan will enable Paryapt Solar Energy Private Ltd to build and operate a 50 MW solar power plant in Gujarat, while a $14.6-million loan guarantee to World Business Capital will support the expansion of a student loan programme and increase access to education.

Up to $20 million in equity will be provided to Freshtohome to deliver affordable fish, meat, and produce across India. In addition to strengthening food security, the project will support more than 1,500 farmers and fishermen, the statement said.

An investment of up to $30 million in the South Asia Growth Fund II will support businesses in the energy, water and food sectors. The fund aims to promote sustainable access to and efficient use of these scarce resources.

A $2.7-million loan guarantee to Stellapps Technologies will advance innovative solutions that streamline the dairy value chain. Another $10-million loan will help Milk Mantra, a dairy company committed to ethical sourcing from more than 60,000 smallholder farmers, many of them women, expand its operations in eastern India.

Up to $371,000 in technical assistance will also support Milk Mantra to produce and sell dairy products in eastern India. This technical assistance is intended to enhance the impact of an approved DFC loan to the project by sharing the costs of services.

The $1 billion of investments mark one of the largest tranches approved during a board meeting under DFC and its predecessor agency. “These projects will uplift some of the most underserved communities around the world,” said DFC CEO Adam Boehler.

“The impact of these projects will be particularly meaningful as the world continues to fight the health and economic fallout of the pandemic.”

The approved projects will strengthen health systems, bolster food security, and support other impactful development outcomes. Several projects expand access to financial services for women, small businesses, and other underserved groups. DFC also approved loans and investments in Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America and South America.

source: hindustantimes