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Centre to revive infra funding through development finance bodies

Tuesday, 28 Jul 2020
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The Central government is working on a strategy to give a fresh lease of life to the so-called development finance institutions (DFIs) for funding infrastructure projects.

As a first step, the government has indicated its intent to modify India Infrastructure Finance Company (IIFCL) into a DFI by increasing its equity capital by Rs 15,000 crore.

To facilitate this goal, suitable governance and regulatory reforms that enables IIFCL will be developed as DFIs are being examined by the government.

The government has also sanctioned funds in the Budget for capitalisation of infrastructure NBFC of the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) as part of efforts to build up the capacity of banking and financial institutions to provide long-term infrastructure finance.

The government will also start an exercise to review the role and functioning of the existing central public sector DFIs, such as the Power Finance Corporation (PFC), the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), National Housing Bank (NHB), the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) and State DFIs to encourage these sector-specific DFIs to diversify into new avenues that have potential for growth.

A differential licensing system with an enabling regulatory framework to encourage setting up of DFIs in the infrastructure sector with domestic or foreign capital is also on the table.

Some of the existing DFIs could also be capitalised with the help of multi-lateral agencies such as the International Finance Corporation, the Asian Development Bank and the New Development Bank, and also seek equity investment from local and global pension funds.

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