|Dr Sunil Motiwal
Chief Executive Officer
SAARC Development Fund
SAARC Development Fund (SDF) is established by the Heads of the eight SAARC Member States in April 2010 as an umbrella financial institution for SAARC projects and program in the SAARC region. The fund works for promoting the welfare of the people of SAARC region, improving their quality of life, and accelerating economic growth, social progress and poverty alleviation in South Asia.
Dr. Sunil Motiwal, Chief Executive Officer informed that SDF have recently accorded in-principle approval of two important infrastructure projects in energy sector in the SAARC region. These include waste to energy project in Sri Lanka with participation of India and hydropower project in Nepal with participation of Bangladesh and India. The total loan commitment would be USD 30 million. We are confident that the projects would help SDF to achieve its development goals in the region and promote welfare and prosperity of the people in the SAARC region. Other potential bankable infrastructure projects with regional connectivity are under our active consideration to co-finance.
Dr. Motiwal informed that under its Social Window, SDF has committed USD 73.74 million for 12 projects being implemented by 67 Implementing Agencies across the 8 SAARC Member States. Of the total fund commitment, USD 46.75 million has been disbursed to the Implementing Agencies.
Dr. Motiwal informed that SDF is in the process of launching the Social Enterprise Development Program (SEDP) as part of its Social Window. The program will be implemented in all the SAARC Member States with the objective of identifying and building social enterprises by using a mix of grants and concessional returnable capital. The program intends to fund around 80 enterprises across the 8 SAARC Member States annually.
SDF also proposes to launch its MSME program in order to upgrade Micro Small and Medium Enterprises in the SAARC region by providing line of credit. SDF would create access to financial services which can in-turn boost job creation, raise income, reduce vulnerability and increase investments in human capital in SAARC Member states.
Dr. Motiwal stated that our focus areas of funding under the Economic Window are projects related to Trade and Industrial Development, Agriculture and allied sectors, Services Sector, Science and Technology, and other non-Infrastructure areas. Similarly our focus areas of funding the Infrastructure Window are projects related to Energy, Power, Transportation, Tele Communications, Environment, Tourism, and other Infrastructure areas. In Social Window, we focus to finance projects on poverty alleviation, social development focusing on education, health, human resource development, support to vulnerable/ disadvantaged segments of the society, funding needs of communities, micro enterprises, rural infrastructure development.
Dr. Motiwal informed that post development of a healthy credit portfolio; SDF shall raise fund from various IFIs, MDBs, and commercial Banks for on-lending to various projects and programs in the SAARC Member States as there is requirement of large quantum of fund to finance the infrastructure gap in the region. The Fund is working tirelessly to promote regional cooperation and integration and envisages acting as a catalyst for infrastructure funding in the region by forming consortium of funding agencies and co-financing of such projects.
Dr. Motiwal emphasized the need to form Economic Union of SAARC Member States in promoting trade and investment in the SAARC region. He said that our vision is to create an integrated, poverty-free, and prosperous South Asia region through project funding and collaboration. As such we are committed to support regional cooperation and integration (RCI) initiatives in the region. All the projects and programs we finance; have regional integration and connectivity component as integral parts of the project design and development.