Rs 50,000 cr Tax-free Bonds to Boost Infra Investments - The New Indian Express

Rs 50,000 cr Tax-free Bonds to Boost Infra Investments

Published: 20th February 2014 10:27 AM

Last Updated: 20th February 2014 10:27 AM

India will need $1 trillion by 2020 for the infrastructure sector while projects worth over thousands of crore are yet to get off the ground for want of different clearances.

With general elections now inching closer, Parliament was on Wednesday informed that the government has initiated different steps including the formation of Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) and the introduction of tax-free bonds to propel investments in infrastructure projects pending since 2010-11, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Planning, Rajeev Shukla informed the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

A high-level committee on financing infrastructure has been formed to review the existing framework for financing such projects and a public private partnership appraisal committee has been constituted for streamlining and simplifying the appraisal and approvals.

Shukla told the House that planned investments in the sector was at `5.76 lakh crore in 2012-13 (provisional) and `5.60 lakh crore in 2011-12, which was scaled down from `6.45 lakh crore in 2010-11.

The Union Budget 2011-12 allowed NHAI, IFRC, IIFCL, Housing and Urban Development Corp, NHB and SIDBI to issue tax-free bonds for `30,000 crore. The sizes of tax-free bonds were raised to `60,000 crore in Union Budget 2012-13 and `50,000 in Union Budget 2013-14.

According to Shukla, `5,000 crore will be made available to NABARD to finance construction of warehouses, godowns, silos, and cold storage units to store agricultural produce, both in public and private sectors.Viability Gap Funding Scheme has been introduced to enhance financial viability of infra projects.

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