Japan offers soft loan to India for bullet train project
Japan has offered soft loan of 15 billion dollars (Rs 90,000 crore) at an interest rate of less than 1 per cent to India’s ambitious first bullet train project viz. Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail corridor along with technology.
In this regard, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has submitted its report to the Union Railway Ministry. In its report JICA has envisaged a reduction in the travel time on the 505-km long corridor between the two western cities to 2 hours from the existing period of over 7 hours.
The report also has mentioned that the bullet train is expected to run at speeds of around 300-350 km/hour.
Japan’s announcement comes in a bid to surpass competition from China and other countries. It also seeks to overcome Japan’s broader push back against China’s involvement in infrastructure development in South Asia over the past several years.
Thus with this soft loan offer, it can be said that Japan is offering both technology and funding together as there are many countries offering the high-speed technology for the bullet train project but not the funding.