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India plans USD 10 billion investment in Afghanistan - Mr SM Krishna

Unveiling India's plans for Afghanistan, External Affairs Minister Mr SM Krishna said Indian industry plans to spend over USD 10 billion developing mines and building a steel plant in the war torn nation.

Mr Krishna made this announcement at a global conference where representatives of over 100 countries are meeting to chart the course for Afghanistan after US led NATO troops pull out in 2014.

India pitched for something like a Marshall Plan to rebuild Afghanistan which faces at least four deficits a security deficit, a governance deficit, a development deficit, and an investment deficit.

Mr Krishna said that "Afghanistan needs time, development assistance, preferential access to world markets, foreign investment and a clear end-state and strategy to make sure that it does not once again plunge into lawlessness, civil war, and externally sponsored extremism and terrorism.”

He said that "Conceptually there is need for something like a 'Marshall Plan' for Afghanistan, involving all the major stakeholders referring to the strategy devised by the US to provide monetary support to Europe to help rebuild after the end of World War II and to combat the spread of Soviet communism.”

He added that Indian companies were willing to invest up to USD 10 billion in mining, setting up a steel plant, and related infrastructure in Afghanistan.

Mr Krishna said that "I am happy to announce that the Indian consortium has been awarded the bid for three blocks of the Hajigak iron ore reserves by the Government of Afghanistan.”

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