Looking to boost infrastructure spending, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today sought investments from Singapore in the Rs 40,000 crore NIIF, a fund created for financing the sector.
Jaitley sought investment for National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) at a meeting with the visiting Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.
Sources said investments were also sought in areas like infrastructure and manufacturing and Jaitley focused on agriculture and social sectors as well. The government had set up the Rs 40,000 crore NIIF in December as an investment vehicle for funding commercially viable greenfield, brownfield and stalled projects. It was envisioned as a mother fund with several sectoral feeder funds.
Later, the government tweaked the NIIF model to allow sovereign wealth funds like Singapore’s GIC and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority of UAE to invest directly in individual projects as well as in mother fund.
The government is to contribute Rs 20,000 crore to the fund and the remaining Rs 20,000 crore is expected to be raised through sovereign wealth funds.
On economic prospects, Jaitley said GDP can rise by 1 per cent if the monsoon is good, boosting agriculture productivity and income which in turn will boost rural expenditure.
On his part, the visiting leader promised to see whether SWFs and pension funds can invest in NIIF.
Shanmugaratnam said India has large potential to increase its exports. He also suggested to Indian Finance Minister to keep exemptions low in the proposed GST regime.