Rajasthan State Highways Investment Program Current Affairs
The Union Government and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a $220 million loan agreement for improving connectivity as well as transport efficiency and safety on State Highways of Rajasthan.
The loan will be provided as the first tranche of the $500 million Rajasthan State Highways Investment Program, approved by ADB Board in May 2017. The Program will upgrade about 2,000 kilometers of state highways and major district roads to two-lane or intermediate-lane standards to meet road safety requirements.
Rajasthan State Highways Investment Program aims improve State Highways and major district roads in Rajasthan. It will enhance the capacity of the State public works department (PWD) in the areas of road asset management, road safety and project management.
One of the focus areas of the program is to attract private sector financing through government capacity building on public private partnership (PPP) development. ADB will finance part of the construction costs for the annuity-based PPP concessions and engineering procurement construction (EPC) contracts. It will also enhance the stability of contract regime, and ensure good governance during project implementation.
The first tranche loan will improve about 1,000 kilometres of State Highways and major district roads. It will have a 25-year term, including a grace period of 8 years. The loan will carry an annual interest rate determined in accordance with ADB’s London interbank offered rate-based (LIBOR) lending facility. The total cost of the project is $1.415 billion, of government contributing $465 million and $450 million from the private sector and other concessionaries.
About Asian Development Bank (ADB)
The ADB is a regional development bank which aims to promote social and economic development in Asia. It was established on 19 December 1966. It is headquartered in Manila, Philippines. ADB now has 67 members, of which 48 are from within Asia and the Pacific and 19 outside.
The ADB has been modelled closely on the World Bank. It has similar weighted voting system where votes are distributed in proportion with members’ capital subscriptions. As of 2014, Japan is the largest shareholder (capital subscription) of ADB having 15.7% shares followed US (15.6%), China (6.5%), India (6.4%), and Australia (5.8%).