In what can be seen as a big setback for infrastructure sector’s investment plans, Narendra Modi government’s ambitious National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), which was set up in December 2015 to boost the funding into the country’s core sector, has so far not been able to fetch a single investment in any project, Indian Express reported on Saturday. The report says that even after 18 months of its inception, NIIF failed to attract a single penny from any overseas or any international/domestic investors. The failure to attract investors prevails despite the government has been in discussions with them for nearly one and half years now, the report said.
In a reply to the Indian Express, Finance Ministry said that the NIIF is yet to start investing in infrastructure projects and has got no investment from any foreign investors or sovereign wealth fund till late last month. “As on date, no loan has been extended by NIIF,” the Ministry told Indian Express in a written reply.
The report says that government has been in talks with sovereign wealth funds and pension funds from countries including the UAE, Singapore, Russia and the UK for pitching funds for the NIIF. Also, certain MoUs have been signed with Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and Rusnano OJSC of Russia. However, these have so far not resulted into subsequent investment from these wealth funds into the NIIF.
“As on date, no foreign/overseas investor, sovereign wealth fund, has put in money in the NIIF,” the Ministry said. In the last financial year, the NIIF received a total of Rs 15 crore from budgetary resources for meeting administrative expenses.
Even as the government has held multiple discussions with overseas investors, especially from Middle East nations, there is no clarity as to why no nation has made any investment commitment so far. The Finance Ministry did not reply to queries from The Indian Express seeking further comments.