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Finance Ministry proposes DFI tag for Infrastructure Finance Company

Tuesday, 01 Dec 2020
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The Finance Ministry has proposed giving the ‘development finance institution’ (DFI) tag to India Infrastructure Finance Company (IIFCL) in a bid to support long-term financial needs of infrastructure projects.

The Department of Financial Services (DFS) has prepared a Cabinet note to give DFI status to IIFCL. The proposal being discussed will require approval of Parliament as a Bill will be introduced to effect the change.

The move to convert IIFCL into a DFI is expected to reduce the cost of borrowings for long-term infrastructure projects, at a time when the government has planned Rs 111 trillion worth of infrastructure investments under the National Infrastructure Pipeline during 2020-25.

In past years, ICICI and IDBI, which started as DFIs, were converted into banks, while sector-specific DFIs still exist – Export Import Bank of India, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, and Small Industries Development Bank of India, to name a few. But these DFIs focus on non-infrastructure sectors.

In 2019, the government approved additional equity support to the tune of Rs 15,000 crore in IIFCL, of which Rs 5,300 crore has already been infused through recapitalisation bonds in March 2020.

The paid-up capital of IIFCL stood at Rs 9,999 crore and its cumulative gross sanction of loans stood at Rs 1.36 trillion for 605 projects as of 31 March 2020.

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