Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed an agreement with the Government of India to provide an aid grant of INR 130 crores for construction of Varanasi International Cooperation and Convention Centre (VCC). VCC is the first of its kind in Varanasi and is expected to function as a platform providing opportunities for social, cultural interactions and knowledge exchange for the public, thereby contributing to the social-economic development of the holy city. VCC is also expected to promote sophisticated infrastructure in Varanasi.
The grant agreement was signed between Takema Sakamoto, the Chief Representative of JICA India Office and S. Selvakumar, Joint Secretary – Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance of Government of India.
VCC was mentioned in the Japan-India Joint Statement in November 2016 where Prime Minister Modi had appreciated Japan’s efforts to support the construction of the Convention Centre in Varanasi and recognized its symbolic importance as a sign of strengthening bilateral ties between the two countries. This year when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in India for laying down of the foundation stone for the first bullet train of India – Mumbai Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) at Ahmedabad, the two Prime Ministers revealed the designs of VCC on the occasion of their annual summit held in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
JICA has already extended 305,060 million Japanese Yen (approximately INR 18,000 crores) through ODA loans since 1984 for comprehensive development efforts of Uttar Pradesh state.