Ironically, it is the State Bank of India, which has the bandwidth to take up large sized infrastructure projects and if it feels hamstrung because of the tough lending rules, the sector would suffer, Assocham President Rajkumar Dhoot said.
SBI Dy. MD said that despite talks and discussions for several years, India has not been able to develop the bond market, which can be used for infrastructure funding. It doesn’t look imminent in the near future as large sums of money are required to fund the key infrastructure immediately. “Can we wait until the bond market is developed? Obviously, we cannot because we need infrastructure tomorrow,” he said.
As for raising resources abroad, the SBI Deputy Managing Director said suggestions have been received from global investors that India should try and float and list Rupee bonds abroad like China has done about the Yuan bonds.
Nayar added that the guidelines for amortisation of loans to key sectors like power, steel and airports where the life of the assets is long should be raised to 25-30 years. The current guidelines need to be changed, he said asking ASSOCHAM to take a lead in discussion in this regard.
India needs infrastructure sector funding of over one trillion USD in the next five years. However, the funds are not coming and the global market is not supportive either, Assocham chief said. He said, the government, on its part should do everything to facilitate faster clearance of the infrastructure projects so that the economic growth can be given a boost and GDP growth can be revived.
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