Context: The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $1.5 billion loan that will support the government’s response to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

About ADB’s COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support Programme (CARES Programme) : It is ADB’s largest ever loan to India for the government’s immediate response measures to the coronavirus pandemic to implement 

  • COVID-19 containment plan to rapidly ramp up test-track-treatment capacity. 
  • Social protection for the poor, vulnerable, women, and disadvantaged groups to protect more than 800 million people over the next three months.
  • It supports India’s emergency needs for the health sector while alleviating the economic impact of the pandemic, as well as short- to medium-term measures to restore the dynamic economic growth of the country by exploring all available financing options.     

Loans in pipeline

  • This includes the support for the affected industries and entrepreneurs particularly micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) by facilitating their access to finance through credit guarantee schemes.
  • MSME integration into global and national value chains through enterprise development centers, and a credit enhancement facility for infrastructure projects. 
  • Strengthening of public service delivery including the extension of comprehensive primary health services in urban areas, and of secondary and tertiary health care systems through PPP modalities.

About ADB:

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a regional development bank established on 19 December 1966, which is headquartered in Manila, Philippines. 
  • It aims to promote social and economic development in Asia.
  • ADB has 68 members (as of 23 March 2019): 49 members from the Asian and Pacific Region, 19 members from Other Regions
  • As of 31 December 2018, Japan and the United States holds the largest proportion of shares at 15.607%. China holds 6.444%, India holds 6.331%, and Australia holds 5.786%
  • The ADB was modeled closely on the World Bank, and has a similar weighted voting system where votes are distributed in proportion with members' capital subscriptions.