New Delhi: In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's port-led development programme, India's premier container port, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, has signed an agreement with State Bank of India and Development Bank of Singapore for External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) to improve the infrastructure required for “doubling” its existing capacity to 9.85 Million TEUs annually.
The ECB of $ 400 million ($300 million from SBI and $100 mn from DBS) will be primarily utilised by the JNPT, which has US Dollar denominated foreign currency earnings which can be leveraged for a low cost foreign currency borrowing, for expansion of its existing roads network connecting to its port project as the existing road network for evacuation of traffic is currently operated at a capacity utilisation of 100 per cent, said a statement. "The agreement with the SBI & DBS was signed by the JNPT Chairman Anil Diggikar in the presence of the Shipping Secretary Rajive Kumar after the Reserve bank of India granted approval to JNPT for raising $400 million with an end use of on-lending to Mumbai JNPT Port Road Company Limited (MJPRCL) for implementation of road project," said an official statement. The ministry of shipping has already granted its approval as required under the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963. The two parties will exchange the documents on Tuesday.