India Infrastructure Finance sanctions Rs.173.6 bn loans

August 23rd, 2008 - 10:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Kozhikode, Aug 23 (IANS) India Infrastructure Finance Co Ltd (IIFCL), the wholly-owned special purpose vehicle of the government, has sanctioned loans worth Rs.173.6 billion ($4.04 billion) to 81 infrastructure projects in the last two years, a top official said here Saturday. Speaking at a workshop on infrastructure development organised by the Malabar Chamber of Commerce here, IIFCL chairman and managing director S.S. Kohli said out of the 81 projects, financial closure has been achieved in 70 cases and the disbursement in assisted projects has crossed Rs.23 billion.

According to the 11th Five-Year Plan, the investment in infrastructure needs to be raised from the current 4.5 percent of the gross domestic product to eight percent, he said.

“With the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act in place and the need to achieve fiscal consolidation, government participation in the infrastructure will be limited. A viable alternative could be the adoption of public-private partnership,” Kohli said.

Addressing the workshop, Rachna Gupta, senior vice-president of Infrastructure Development Finance Corp (IDFC), said the country needed more project developers to meet its infrastructure challenges.

“We only have 20 or 25 major project developers and many of them don’t have the adequate sectoral exposure to handle certain projects,” Gupta said.

Commenting on Kerala’s infrastructure plans, she said an expressway connecting the state from north to south was economically feasible. However, she suggested that its financial feasibility be studied.

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