Finance minister Arun Jaitley invited sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) from Singapore and the UAE to invest in sectors like roads, the Railways and energy on Thursday even as they red-flagged the need for an easy regulatory regime and appointment of a chief executive officer (CEO) to India's maiden National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF).
Inaugurating the two-day India Investment Summit 2016 in New Delhi, Jaitley highlighted opportunities the country presents to investors and sought investment in sectors such as road, highways, oil and gas, urban infrastructure and the Railways. He also held closed-door discussions with several potential investors, including European investment banks.
The summit has been organised to attract funds for NIIF, which is an investment vehicle for funding projects. The Rs 40,000-crore fund will have government holding of 49 per cent and the rest will be of private investors.
"One of the greatest challenges before India was to re-establish the credibility of Indian markets and in order to establish the credibility of Indian economy, it was important to continue reforms only in one direction. Besides, decision-making has been expedited and conditions that made investment process difficult sliced away. India during the last 19 months of the BJP government has opened gates for investment." Jaitley showcased investment opportunities in sectors ranging from roads and highways to energy to the select audience, which included European Investment Bank and private equity funds from the US, the UK and Canada.
He also met Abu Dhabi Investment Authority managing director Sheikh Hamid Bin Zayed Al Nahyan besides courting officials of pension funds and institutional investors to present them the opportunity India offers at an event here.
It wasn't officially revealed if any investment was committed. European Investment Bank said that is ready to commit funds as there is a great scope for infrastructure development in India, but would like to see the commercial viability of the infrastructure projects.
Royal Bank of Canada chief representative Akhauri Sinha said, "... the more the (regulatory) clarity emerges, that will give us better comfort … a call can be taken about it. So, it's little early to say that we are coming with investment."