Updated: September 4, 2020 10:22:03 am
The Covid-19 pandemic-induced revenue shortfall may force the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority to dig into its financial reserves including fixed deposits worth Rs 13,000 crore to fund its projects in the short term.
The MMRDA is currently undertaking infrastructure projects with a cumulative value of Rs 70,000 crore, including 331 km of Metro rail network and a Rs 23,000 crore mid-sea Mumbai Transharbour Link Corridor.
“We have adequate funds as of now to tide over for the rest of the year. However, our revenues have been hit since the lockdown and there is a probability that we could face a financial squeeze starting next year,” a senior official from the finance department of MMRDA said. He added this year the only major revenue came from leasing of BKC plot to a Japanese firm for Rs 2,300 crore. The MMRDA also used to get around Rs 10 crore every year from renting out its exhibition ground, which has come to a complete stop this year.
“We are currently not facing any issue with funds. However, we need to keep an eye on the impact of the pandemic on our finances. We are in a position that if there is a crunch, we will be able to use fixed deposits,” said B G Pawar, joint project director and spokesperson, MMRDA.
Currently, MMRDA is in talks with international financing agencies for Rs 29,000 crore loan. For Metro 6, it is in negotiations with New Development Bank, for Metro 5 with Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and for Metro 3 with KfW Development Bank for around 50 per cent funding. “We will soon begin negotiations with Japan International Cooperation Agency for Metro lines 10, 11 and 12. As and when Metro lines 7 and 2A begin commercial operations, we will monetise from the international funding agencies,” a senior official said. The Authority also has land bank worth Rs 75,000 crore that it can monetise.
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