India and Mongolia are likely to kick off talks in March on the $ 1 billion credit line, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced during his visit to the country in May 2015.
“We are expecting a delegation from Mongolia to arrive in India in March, to lay down the priority areas for the mega credit line as declared by Prime Minister Modi,” an official familiar with India’s policy for Mongolia, told The Hindu,elaborating that the delegation-level talks between Mongolia and India were expected to focus on the infrastructure, IT, and educational projects.
The plan for India-Mongolia dialogue is significant as it comes nearly nine months after Mr. Modi visited Mongolia and made the “in principle” credit line announcement.
India has an operational credit line of $20 million for Mongolia and out of that 1.5 million is being utilised for an IT consultancy project. An official of the Exim Bank working on credit lines to Mongolia, said that the bank expected most of the $1 billion credit line to be dedicated to infrastructure projects.
The Hindu has learnt that the credit line is part of a strategy to emerge as the “third pole” in Mongolia’s international relations which so far have been dominated by China and Russia.