India to maintain transparency in lines of credit to AfricaNovember 22nd, 2011 - 10:44 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Nov 22 (IANS) India Tuesday said it will follow transparent and fair selection procedures based on competitive bidding for award of contracts and execution of projects through its lines of credits to Africa, estimated to be $5 billion over the next three years.
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna also noted that such transparent methods would ensure best value for money and quality of delivery under the scheme.
“As we take our cooperation forward, it is of paramount importance that we follow transparent and fair selection procedures based on competitive bidding for award of contracts and execution of them. Such transparency will ensure best value for money and quality of delivery under the scheme,” Krishna said, inaugurating the first-ever two-day conference on “Indian Lines of Credit: An Instrument to Enhance India-Africa Partnership” here.
The conference has been organised by the ministry of external affairs’ investment and technology Promotion Division.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had, at the India-Africa Forum Summit in Addis Ababa in May this year, announced that India would extend $5 billion worth of lines of credit to African nations over the next three years.
Over 40 African nations have availed over a 100 Indian lines of credit so far, aggregating over $4.2 billion. In 2010-11 alone, 14 lines of credits amounting to $1 billion were approved and the list continues to grow.
Krishna said at the event, attended by representatives from 40 African countries, that lines of credits are an important instrument in the economic engagement with the African continent, directed at meeting the socio-economic development aspirations of developing countries in the spirit of South-South cooperation.
“This takes several forms, including Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programmes that are tailor-made to respond to the capacity-building needs of our partner countries. Several initiatives under our Focus Africa Programmes underline our political commitment to build mutually beneficial partnerships,” he said.
The lines of credits provide support at highly concessional terms to least developed countries and developing countries in the African continent.
Krishna said there were striking complementaries between Africa’s requirements and India’s capabilities in many areas. He noted that the African economy expanded by 4.5 percent in 2010 and the Indian economy by about 8 percent in the same period.
India and Africa together comprise a market of 2.2 billion people with a combine Gross Domestic Product of $3 trillion. Trade between India and Africa, which stood at $11.9 billion in 2005-06 increased to $53.3 billion in 2010-11. There has been an increase in investments in both directions as well.
“All of this, of course, is impressive, but there is still vast potential for further growth. India is engaging with Africa at bilateral, regional as well as continental levels. The India-Africa Forum Summits have lent a contemporary dimension to our relations,” the external affairs minister added.
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