Sinha : Government looking to address challenges plaguing infrastructure sector

Friday, Feb 5, 2016,13:07 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | Seeking more private investment in ongoing infrastructure projects worth USD 100-150 billion, the government today said project structure and regulations are being reviewed to offer investors attractive returns. On the second-day of an investment summit with sovereign wealth funds, private equity and pension funds, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha showcased brownfield as well as greenfield projects in sectors including highways, railways and energy. We are working very hard to understand what the issues, challenges are. What further we need to do as far as the law, regulation and project structuring is concerned, so that we can be able to present you attractive returns and where risks are much lower, he said.

Addressing investors at the India Investment Summit here, Sinha said projects worth about USD 100-150 billion are in various stages of completion. We are going through a process where these projects are being reassessed, new financing coming in. So I think for these projects there will be very attractive investment opportunities as the capital structure is reset, he added. He asked investors to consider brownfield projects, along with greenfield, as NIIF would also fund stressed assets. Speaking at the summit, RBI Deputy Governor H R Khan said, we are open for regulatory changes as situation demand nothing is cast in stone.

Sinha said we are sensitive to your demand. Sinha also said the government is trying to rethink the whole manner of refinancing greenfield projects and trying to ensure that these projects get to cash flow as early as possible. A number of funds like Apollo, Blackstone, Edelweiss are looking at these brownfield stalled projects, he said. Outlining the variety of projects that are on offer for investors, he said there are a set of stalled projects, there are greenfield projects, as also portfolios of cash generating developed projects that you can package together into relatively solid attractive yield generating portfolios.

All three investment opportunities are now available, he said. The government in December had set up the Rs 40,000 crore National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF). While the government holding in the fund would be 49 per cent, the remaining would be held by private investors. The government is showcasing investment opportunities in India’s infrastructure sector through the two-day summit.