By Meghna Mittal
New Delhi, Aug 31 - The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is mulling pumping in $1.5 billion (Rs 9,599 crore) in six new projects in India that includes Rs 1,279 crore in India's National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), a top AIIB official has said.
India has been trying to attract investments for NIIF from several international institutional investors. The Indian government has committed Rs 20,000 crore to the NIIF.
"The bank is considering contributing to NIIF in addition to other projects across India. For the proposed investment into the NIIF, the estimated fund is $200 million. The bank is currently reviewing six projects in India. The projects are focused on improving transport, energy and urban infrastructure across the country," Danny Alexander, Vice President and Corporate Secretary, AIIB, said.
The $1.5 billion proposed investments by AIIB in the country, include Mumbai Metro Line 4 Project ($500 million), Bangalore Metro Rail Project Line R6 ($338 million), NIIF ($200 million), Amaravati Sustainable Capital City Development Project ($200 million), Madhya Pradesh Rural Connectivity Project ($141 million) and Transmission System Strengthening Project ($100 million).
"All projects have to be assessed in detail against the bank's strict criteria and policies before a final decision is made," Alexander said.
"Developing countries, including India, will be the primary recipients of financing from the bank. The bank will consider projects that are financially sound, environmentally sustainable, and will have a positive social impact. We expect to finance many more projects in India in future."
As a founding member and the second-largest shareholder in the China-backed AIIB, the total investment in India as of now stands at $638 million. It has provided loans to two projects -- the Gujarat Rural Roads project and the Andhra Pradesh 24x7 Power for All project -- and has made an equity investment into the India Infrastructure Fund (IIF).
"Our equity investment into the private sector-run India Infrastructure Fund is an example of how our bank can assist with crowding in private investment. We are confident that our investment in the fund will attract additional funding from the private sector," he said.
The IIF, sponsored by IDFC Limited, Citigroup Inc and India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL) as founder investors, is a SEBI-registered domestic venture capital fund focused on long-term equity investments in a diversified portfolio of infrastructure projects.
Emphasising upon the role of multilateral banks in infrastructure development, Alexander said that Asia is facing a significant infrastructure gap that cannot be solved by local governments, private companies or multilateral organisations working in isolation.
"Multilateral development banks are well positioned to help reduce investment risk and to facilitate the potential of private financial investment, which we believe India will benefit from greatly," he said.
To date, AIIB has invested more than $2.83 billion in infrastructure projects across Asia.
AIIB, headquartered in Beijing, opened its doors for business on January 16, 2016, following a 15-month participatory process during which 57 founding members worked collaboratively.
India's NIIF is considering investments in third party-managed funds focused on clean energy (Green Growth Fund), affordable housing and medium-sized infrastructure companies. Strong investment pipeline with investment opportunities in the roads, ports, aviation and power sectors are said to be under consideration by NIIF.
The Fund has a team of employees, including the CEO, with offices in Delhi and Mumbai.