Chief Minister inaugurated high-profile KIIFB national seminar that examined
emerging trends and new avenues in infrastructure financing
Lauding the pivotal role being played by the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) in addressing the infrastructure deficit being faced by the state, Honourable Chief Minister Shri Pinarayi Vijayan said here today that the government would allocate Rs 40,000 crore to KIIFB this year to take a number of key infrastructure development projects forward.
“In its first two budgets, the government had already allotted Rs 50,000 crore for KIIFB towards various projects. Of these, KIIFB has already submitted an estimated Rs 2,612 crore-worth of project proposals. All the doubts about the initiative that were raised during its initial stages have now been eradicated. Other than the financial assurances provided, the government has established KIIFB’s credibility within the short span of one year,” Shri Vijayan said.
He was inaugurating a national seminar on ‘Opportunities and Challenges in Public Infrastructure Financing’ organised by KIIFB. The high-profile summit brought together top policymakers, representatives of financial sector regulatory bodies, senior bank officials, merchant bankers and senior government officials in charge of public financial institutions and development corporations.
“KIIFB is a public welfare model that has been put forward as an alternative to new economic reforms that tends to privatise even basic development projects. Under KIIFB’s aegis, several infrastructural development projects crucial to Kerala’s growth are in progress. For instance, various electricity harnessing projects estimated at Rs 5,200 crore that will help find a solution for Kerala’s energy crisis,” Shri Vijayan said.
Other ongoing vital projects funded through KIIFB include Rs 1,781 crore towards PWD works, Rs 272 crore for proposed light metro rail, Rs 1,700 crore for the industrial sector, Rs 351 crore for the IT sector, Rs 1,690 crore for water resources department, Rs 968 crore for health and family welfare, Rs 678 crore for education, Rs 74 crore for pre-metric hostel, Rs 45 crore for working women hostel, among others.
“The projects currently in progress can be completed within four years only if we plan and execute according to the laws, regulations and scope of the investment funding sector,” he added.
Honourable Finance Minister Dr. Thomas Isaac presided over the function. Delivering the welcome address, Dr. K.M. Abraham, KIIFB CEO and Additional Chief Secretary (Finance), gave a brief overview of its unique structure and noted that the interest shown by other states in adopting the KIIFB model is recognition of the merits of the government’s infrastructure funding model.
In his keynote address, Shri G. Mahalingam, Whole Time Member, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), welcomed the move by states towards utilising capital markets for financing infrastructure projects and spoke about the advantages offered by capital markets as opposed to the traditional modes of financing.
“Kerala is leading from the front in the field of basic infrastructure investment funding sector like in education and public welfare. SEBI ensures that investment funding projects like KIIFB is modelled according to current market trends and is functioning transparently,” he said.