New Delhi, 4th February, 2016 (WAM) Pinning hopes on foreign investors including SWFs and pension funds, the Indian government today said it expects National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) to become a major source of funding for infrastructure projects from the next fiscal.

India’s maiden Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), NIIF, in which government will hold 49 per cent, will be mother-fund under which there would be several funds, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said at the India Investment Summit here.

The 2-day summit will have 250 participants and 91 delegates from various countries.

National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) will fund projects that are “commercially viable”, he said while seeking support from various foreign funds from Canada, US, UK, Singapore and UAE.

Government will provide the initial seed capital and the intention is to have investors come in with funds that are multiple times more, he said as quoted by Press Trust of India, PTI.

“The essence of NIIF is that it can leverage and bring a lot of money into the infrastructure sector. The kind of the response that we have been getting from our interaction with various funds, I have the confidence that in the coming years say 2016-17 and thereafter NIIF will emerge as major vehicle in infrastructure sector in the country,” he said.

NIIF will have professional management which will do due diligence before investing in a project, he said, adding that the government has already identified about 6 projects in the railways and highways sectors which could be funded through this investment vehicle.

Pitching for investment in infrastructure sector, Das said India continues to be a bright spot in turbulent times and an attractive destination for foreign investment.

The country saw recently the biggest reforms in FDI norms, he said, adding the Government is committed to preserve the economic strength of the nation.

The government in December had set up the Rs 40,000 crore NIIF, which is an investment vehicle for funding greenfield, brownfield and stalled projects.

The funding decision of NIIF will be through an Investment Management Company.

While the government will invest Rs 20,000 crore in NIIF, another similar amount will come from private investors.

WAM/tfaham