The governing council of National Investment and Infrastructure Fund chaired by finance minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday reviewed progress of operationalising India’s maiden sovereign wealth fund NIIF, including the selection of its CEO and projects shortlisted for making initial investments.
The government has proposed a corpus of Rs 40,000 crore for NIIF, which will invest in infrastructure projects. The meeting discussed the follow-up action on investment memorandum of understanding signed with global sovereign welath funds from UAE, Russia and Qatar, the finance ministry said in a statement.
“The progress of discussions to follow up on the MoUs with several investors such as ADIA from UAE, RUSNANO OJSC from Russia & Qatar Investment Authority, Qatar were also placed before the members. They also discussed the guidelines for investment of the corpus of NIIF including the investment policy,” it said.
The governing council reviewed overseas long term investors, sovereign wealth funds, pension funds’ interest in investing in the NIIF. They also discussed the guidelines for investment of the corpus of NIIF, including the investment policy. Public sector companies are also expected to invest in the initial corpus of the Fund.
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Set up in December 2015, NIIF will act as an investment vehicle for funding commercially viable greenfield, brownfield and stalled projects. The government is in the process of appointing a CEO for NIIF, in which it holds 49 per cent while the rest will be held by private investors.
The Council was also apprised of the refinement in the structure of NIIF pursuant to discussions with investors. NIIF will have various sector-specific or investor-specific close ended funds and they would issue various classes of units. Government along with other investor will subscribe to the units of various funds.
“The status of projects shortlisted for initial investment by the NIIF and the selection process of Chief Executive Officer were also placed before the Council,” the ministry said, adding that a NIIF website was launched today. This meeting was attended by Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das, Financial Services Secretary Anjuly Duggal and State Bank of India Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya and former Infosys director T V Mohandas Pai.
In a meeting with investors in Japan Jaitley promised NIIF investors an “advantageous” tax regime. He had said India is making efforts to become most advantageous tax jurisdiction with regard to investment in infrastructure sector.