Govt sets up $6B infra fund, to name CEO by Jan-end

The Rs 40,000 crore National Investment and Infrastructure fund (NIIF) has been set up and its chief executive will be finalised by January end, government said today.

Several sovereign funds and pension funds from Russia, Singapore, UK and UAE are willing to participate in the fund and cooperate with it at various levels, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters here.

"We hope the CEO selection process is completed over the next few weeks," Jaitley said after the first meeting of the NIIF Governing Council.

The appointment is likely to happen by the end of next month, sources said, adding that India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL) has been appointed as the investment advisor and IDBI Capital Market Services Ltd as Advisor to NIIF Trustee Ltd initially for six months and one year respectively.

Jaitley said the NIIF Governing Council will meet again in March to review the progress in the participation of the funds that are willing to invest.

While the government will invest Rs 20,000 crore in NIIF from the Budget, another Rs 20,000 crore is expected to come from private investors.

Market regulator Sebi has approved the setting up of the NIIF. It has been registered with SEBI as Category II Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) on December 28, 2015.

The NIIF would invest in greenfield, brownfield and stalled projects.

The Finance Ministry had in October constituted a search- cum-selection Committee under the Chairmanship of Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das for selecting a CEO for the Investment Management Company under the NIIF.

The Investment Management Company would be responsible for taking investment decision of NIIF corpus. The government's share in the corpus shall not exceed 49 per cent.

In July, the Cabinet had approved creation of NIIF, a sort of sovereign fund, for development of infrastructure projects, including the stalled ones.

The Governing Council in today's meeting also noted the possible projects that may be taken up under the NIIF.

Jaitley is the Chairman of the Council, and its members include DEA Secretary Das, Financial Services Secretary Anjuly Chib Duggal and SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya, among others.

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