SWAMIH fund: Sanctions cross Rs 12,000 crore, to help complete 81,300 houses

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October 9, 2020 5:31 AM

Nevertheless, sanctions have picked up pace, as the programme is being reviewed regularly by the finance minister, along with top government officials. Sitharaman has already asked officials concerned to further speed up the process.

The plan was to have a Rs 25,000-crore fund, with contribution of both the government and other investors.The plan was to have a Rs 25,000-crore fund, with contribution of both the government and other investors.

A government-backed alternate investment fund (AIF) has sanctioned as much as Rs 12,079 crore to help complete 123 stuck housing projects. The fund, set up extend last-mile funding, will enable the completion of 81,308 houses.

As of October 5, final approval for investments of Rs 4,197 crore in 33 projects has been granted by the fund, set up under the Special Window for Affordable and Mid Income Housing (SWAMIH), finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s office tweeted on Thursday. These 33 projects involve the completion of the construction of 25,048 houses.

SBICAP Ventures, an arm of SBI Capital Markets, is entrusted by the government to manage this AIF.

In a series of tweets, her office also said lenders have disbursed as much as Rs 1,36,140 crore to borrowers under a Rs 3-lakh-crore credit guarantee scheme, which was rolled out on June 1 to help mainly small businesses and professionals tide over the Covid-19 shock. As of October 5, lenders sanctioned loans of Rs 1,87,579 crore under this so-called Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme.

As for the SWAMIH fund, industry sources have said while sanctions have gathered pace, offtake has been hit, thanks to a Covid-induced slowdown in construction, even though authorities had moved quickly to set up the AIF.

A spokesperson for the fund last month declined to share disbursement details but said: “It is worth noting that disbursements will always be gradual because they will be calibrated to the progress of construction.” Therefore, disbursements will take place in several tranches over a construction period of 1-3 years. “Also, remember that Covid-related lockdowns have impacted worker mobilisation since March,” he said.

Nevertheless, sanctions have picked up pace, as the programme is being reviewed regularly by the finance minister, along with top government officials. Sitharaman has already asked officials concerned to further speed up the process.

The finance ministry had earlier said the projects were spread across a broad mix of markets, including metros and also Tier- 2 locations like Karnal, Panipat, Lucknow, Surat, Dehradun, Kota, Nagpur, Jaipur, Nashik, Vizag and Chandigarh.

The fund was announced on November 6, 2019, and raised Rs 10,530 crore from 14 investors, including LIC, HDFC and SBI, when it declared its first close in December. The plan was to have a Rs 25,000-crore fund, with contribution of both the government and other investors.

The government had pledged a total of Rs 10,000 crore for this purpose, as it wanted to kick-start the investment cycle in residential projects and deliver houses to people who have been humbled by the double whammy of undelivered homes and regular repayment of home loans. It was also supposed to boost private consumption once houses are delivered.

According to an industry estimate late last year, as many as 4.58 lakh housing units were facing delayed delivery across 1,509 stalled projects.

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