VIJAYAWADA: The long-delayed World Bank loan sought for the construction of capital Amaravati is reliably learnt to have been approved by the board of the international financial institution.
The latest development is expected to boost the cash-strapped State government which sought a loan of USD 500 million (approximately `3,500 crore) to further expedite the execution of infrastructure development in Amaravati. Of the loan sought, the World Bank would lend USD 300 million and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) would co-finance USD 200 million.
Highly-placed sources in the government said that a formal order of the approval will be issued shortly.
“The board of the World Bank has recently approved our application for a loan for the construction of Amaravati. We are expecting an official communication shortly,” an official told TNIE.
For the record, the APCRDA had sent a proposal to the World Bank in January 2016, seeking a loan of USD 1 billion.
Later, it had revised the loan requirement to USD 500 million in May 2016. While World Bank has agreed to lend USD 300 million, AIIB came forward to loan USD 200 million. However, in May 2017, a few landowners from capital villages had written to the bank alleging irregularities in the land procurement. This has led to the World Bank’s Inspection Panel to register a complaint as per the farmers’ request.
The representatives from the Inspection Panel, which will decide if a probe is needed into the allegations of the landholders, made several visits to the capital region and interacted with stakeholders.
Subsequently, the Inspection Panel deferred its recommendation on whether a probe was needed into the allegations made in November 2017 for six months, and in July 2018 for nine months.
“We got to know that the board has approved our application now. We are yet to know the quantum of the first tranche,” another official said.
Once the USD 500 million loan is tapped, the APCRDA is also mulling applying for another tranche of USD 500 million loan.