Partner Japan to have 26 percent stake in DMIC

New Delhi, April 30: India and Japan Monday held their first-ever economic dialogue and agreed to accelerate the partnership in several infrastructure projects such as the ambitious Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) in which the East Asian power is likely to pick up 26 percent equity stake.

“We agreed on how to accelerate cooperation in the flagship DMIC,” External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna told reporters after the dialogue which was co-chaired by his Japanese counterpart Koichiro Gemba.

He said both the countries also discussed cooperation in the railways sector, including the ongoing Dedicated Freight Corridor project, as well as the possibility of India obtaining high-speed rail technology from Japan.

Japan would also assist in chalking out a comprehensive master plan for the Chennai-Bengaluru Corridor.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma held a meeting with Japan’s minister of economy, trade and industry Yukio Edano in which both agreed to facilitate the required procedure to allow Japan to hold up to 26 percent stake in the over $90 billion DMIC project.

“Sharma confirmed that the government of India will initiate required procedures for necessary approvals,” according to a joint statement issued after the 2nd India-Japan Ministerial Business-Government Policy Dialogue here.

The two ministers agreed on the need for relaxation of capital regulations in the course of implementation of the DMIC project that will cover seven states totalling 1,483 km.

A smart community working group under the Indo-Japan Task Force on DMIC would also be set up to accelerate the implementation of the smart community projects.

“They also recognised the need to promote smart community pilot projects and the early bird projects for demonstration of the cutting-edge technologies,” the statement said.

In another development, India has agreed to supply two million tonnes of iron ore per year to Japan under an earlier agreement that has been extended.

Also, in separate talks between Edano and Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the two countries discussed cooperation in renewable energy and clean coal technologies.

Monday’s talks signified the growing economic and business cooperations between the two Asian democracies which are forging a strategic partnership.

After the coming into force of the comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) from Aug 1, 2011, bilateral trade has been rising and is expected to reach $25 billion in 2013, according to the commerce ministry.

IANS