Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has urged the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) to expand its operations and explore ways to crowd in private capital for projects under the National Infrastructure Pipeline, PM Gati Shakti and National Infrastructure Corridor.
The loan book of two major infrastructure focused non-banking finance companies, where the government-funded NIIF has a majority stake, has grown from ₹4,200 crore to ₹26,000 crore in three years with no loans turning into non-performing assets till date, the NIIF informed its governing council chaired by Ms. Sitharaman late on Wednesday,
The NIIF has proposed setting up its first bilateral fund, an “India Japan Fund” with contributions from the government, and signed a memorandum of understanding on November 9 with the Japan Bank for International Development, the council was informed.
“The Finance Minister asked the NIIF team to build on the work done so far and leverage India’s attractive investment fundamentals to expand its operations,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement on Thursday, adding that she also encouraged NIIF ‘to continue discussions with investors from countries that are keen to invest in India’.
Ms. Sitharaman also exhorted NIIF to explore opportunities under the National Infrastructure Pipeline and PM Gati Shakti, to try and crowd in commercial capital for the ‘big pool of investible greenfield and brownfield investment projects’ covered by these programmes.