The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), a branch of the World Bank, has issued a US$320mn loan to improve the transport infrastructure of the Indian state of Assam.

The loan has a maturity of 18 years, including a grace period of five years, and will help improve the road infrastructure in the north-eastern state.

The Assam government will top up the loan with US$80mn from its own resources. A source within the World Bank confirmed to GTR that there was no private sector demand to be involved in the financing.

It’s hoped that the infrastructure investment will boost the region’s access to trade links. Ashok Kumar, rural road specialist at World Bank, tells GTR: “The project will provide much-needed infrastructure for accelerating economic development of the state. It will lay the foundation for opening up land and trade routes to bordering countries and Southeast Asia.

“Through the road improvement interventions, the percentage of secondary road network in a fair to good condition will increase from the current 25% to 40%. The travel time for vehicular transport will be reduced by 20% along the improved corridors.”

The World Bank declined to comment on the pricing of the loan.