India's finance minster Arun Jaitley has proposed that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) develop New Delhi as a regional hub for its operations in South Asia, while also setting up such regional hubs elsewhere as well, so as to reduce the time lag between decision-making and implementation of projects in the region.
''I would strongly urge the Bank to set up a regional hub in New Delhi for South Asia region so that a majority of the proposals could be processed there speedily. Such hubs could be established in other regions, too,'' Jaitley said in his speech at the ADB's 50th annual meeting in Yokohama on Sunday.
This, Jaitley said, could reduce the time required to approve a proposal as well as the time lag between approval and disbursement of loans.
He also urged the bank to adopt country specific systems for procurement and social and environmental safeguards expeditiously.
The finance minister called for greater focus on renewable energy and climate resilient agriculture and urged ADB to promote sustainable models for urban development
Jaitley congratulated the ADB on completing its 50 years and serving the people of Asia-Pacific region, while also lauding the efforts of the bank in eliminating poverty in the region through development of physical and social infrastructure.
In urban development, especially in the sectors of drinking water and sanitation, Jaitley underlined the major challenges faced by many developing countries in making the system work without having to depend much on the budgetary support from the national governments.
He urged the bank to promote sustainable models that will address these challenges. He called upon ADB to focus on climate resilient agriculture, better farm production technologies, improved value chain management and creation of better marketing infrastructure for farm produce.
The finance minister urged ADB president Takehiko Nakao to ensure primacy is accorded to the views of developing countries in ADB's operations
Jaitley, who is on a three-day official visit to Japan to participate in the annual meeting of the board of governors' of Asian Development Bank, also held bilateral discussions with Japanese finance minister Taro Aso.
During the meeting his Japanese counterpart, Jaitley highlighted the initiatives under Make in India and called upon Japanese companies to set up facilities in India for manufacture of rolling stock for the metro rail projects.
Both the ministers noted the growing synergy between India and Japan and committed themselves towards working closely to further expand India-Japan bilateral economic cooperation.