India avails $500m soft loan to tackle water woes

Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Philip Mpango yesterday during his meeting with the Indian High Commissioner to Tanzania, Mr Sandeep Arya

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THE government of India has promised to avail to Tanzania a soft loan of 500m US dollars for the implementation of water projects in 17 towns in the country. The soft loan is set to be processed through India’s Exim Bank.

Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Philip Mpango said yesterday during his meeting with the Indian High Commissioner to Tanzania, Mr Sandeep Arya, that the loan is aimed at resolving water woes in the country and enable ‘wananchi’ to access the precious liquid.

He said that the projects will also boost economic activities in the country. “We are still engaged in negotiations; we are also going through criteria posed by Exim Bank, which need the company that will execute the projects to enjoy tax exemption,” he said.

He added that the criteria to select the company will be done through observing the laws of the land, the government is working on the matter and soon it will come up with a solution on it to facilitate the implementation of the projects.

“We recognise the contribution of India in the water sector to the country as they are currently implementing a big water project in Lake Victoria, which is aimed at connecting water from Shinyanga to Tabora,” he noted.

Dr Mpango also asked India to continue supporting Tanzania in various areas including Information and Communication Technology (ICT), so as to get experts who will help bring development to the country.

He said India is more advanced in the area of ICT and that it would be better if it will invest in the area in Tanzania and thus help ‘wananchi’ to engage in various activities includ-ing industrial development.

“We cannot move forward without skilled people in various areas including experts in ICT,” said Dr Mpango. He mentioned areas for investment as agriculture, tourism, health and many others.

The Indian High Commissioner to Tanzania, Mr Arya said his country focuses at investing in agriculture, solar energy and help in the construction of Dodoma capital as well as roads and railway. He said Tanzania and India have a long history and that his country will continue to invest in various areas in Tanzania.

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