Issues with infrastructure sector
- The sector needs long term finance; but banks are helpless: One of the fundamental reason why Indian infrastructure is still not up to desired level is the lack of long term finance. This is despite the fact that 10.4% of bank lending was channelled to Infrastructure in 2015.
- But of late, the banks in India especially the public sector banks are reeling under the pressure of Non-Performing Assets and Stressed assets, combing around 4.5% and 11% respectively.
- This has forced the banks to confine themselves to a shell and not commit themselves to long term financing portfolios and projects with long gestation periods.
- It is in light of this fund crunch situation that the Government of India announced setting up of National Investment and Infrastructure Fund in 2015 budget.
National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) is a fund created by the Government of India for enhancing infrastructure financing in the country. Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has already approved NIIF as an alternate investment fund.
Now that government has revitalized the financing arm of the infrastructure sector, it must now train its eyes on other obstacles which include an outdated labour law regime, massive dearth of skilled labour, problems in land acquisition, environment and other clearances etc. to achieve the cherished dream of transforming India as the manufacturing hub of the world through the Make in India Project.
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