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|June 26, 1998||
India expects more WB loans
Anticipating a further $ 1.6 billion worth of World Bank loans, the finance ministry today indicated it had reasons to expect a liberalised interpretation of restrictions on loans consequent to India's nuclear tests.
The ministry's optimism emanates from the fact that a newly negotiated amount of $ 540 million was approved yesterday by the World Bank for the Andhra Pradesh economic restructuring plan.
''This is part of loans that were put on hold and the interpretation of what can be described as humanitarian has been widened,'' said Finance Secretary Montek Singh Ahluwalia at a special briefing.
He said Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha has been in constant touch with the World Bank to ensure a 'soft regime'.
The loans that the finance ministry now expects to come through include the woman and child development loan worth $ 300 million through the concessional International Development Agency, and a health project for Orissa worth $ 76 million, also from the IDA.
A $ 130 million loan is expected from the IDA and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which will benefit agriculture in Uttar Pradesh.
Additionally two road construction projects are expected to come through. They include a project in Gujarat worth $ 381 million and another in Haryana worth $ 275 million.
''The bank's definition of what constitutes humanitarian aid includes social sectors such as health, education, alleviation of poverty, women's welfare, agriculture and rural development,'' said the fianance secretary.
''The feedback that the ministry gets from multilateral agencies is that the definition of 'humanitarian' is better understood -- we think that all aid is humanitarian,'' he said.
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