Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today reviewed the performance of the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and various steps being taken by India’s first sovereign fund to promote infra development. During the meeting attended by the board, it was informed that steady progress on fund-raising efforts with several international institutional investors as well as following-up on MoUs signed by the government have been made, the Finance Ministry said in a statement. The first fund-raising by NIIF is expected to close soon, it added. NIIF informed the minister that a strong investment pipeline is under consideration for the roads, ports, aviation and power sectors.
NIIF is considering investments in third party managed funds focused on clean energy, affordable housing and medium sized infrastructure companies, it said. The governing council expressed its desire for NIIF to function as a major platform in India to leverage and attract overseas long-term investments in various infrastructure sectors in the country, it said. NIIF was set up as the investment vehicle in 2015 and has a mandate to fund commercially viable greenfield, brownfield and stalled projects. With 49 per cent equity participation from the government, the remaining comes from the private sector.
The Centre is committed to invest Rs 20,000 crore in the NIIF. Department of Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, Department of Financial Services Secretary Anjuly Chib Duggal, T V Mohandas Pai and Hemendra Kothari, members of the Governing Council and other senior officials were present at the meeting. As far as the operational status of NIIF is concerned, it was informed that a team of twelve staff, including the CEO, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund Limited is now in place. “Further recruitments of high quality staff through a global search process is underway. Strong international response to hiring efforts and advertisements for recruitment of expert staff has been received,” it said.