The newly-appointed chairman of the National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NaBFID) K.V. Kamath said on Tuesday that the organisation is likely to commence its lending operation with about 190-200 big infrastructure projects in the railways, roads and energy sector. Kamath told news channel CNBC TV-18 in an interview that 193 projects above Rs 1,000 crore each are under the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP).
The NIP with an ambition of $1.5 trillion covers key sectors such as roads, railways, metro and energy and the likes.
"So, I think we will start by looking at these 190-200 projects, it will provide a fairly large slate for the first year or two for us to look at. Then we will deep dive into others - that could be there in the private sector, in other areas and so on," he said.
Responding to a query on the weak loan growth, he said the credit offtake seen presently is primarily driven by the retail consumer, which is probably small loans. "I think that is where we should let it grow. And the bigger loans, the infrastructure loans should be provided from the market, whether through bonds or through institutions like NaBFID, one or more that will be set up, then I think we will see a holistic development of the economy of the country," Kamath said.
On being asked about the vacancies in the NaBFID, Kamath said that he is fifteen days into the company and the selection process of a chief executive officer is underway.
On October 27, Finance Ministry appointed the veteran banker as the chairperson of the newly-constituted National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NaBFID). The aim of the institution was to catalyse investment in the fund-starved infrastructure sector in the country.
In March this year, the Parliament had cleared the bill for setting up the Rs 20,000 crore National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development. The purpose of the institution is to support the development of long-term non-recourse infrastructure financing in India, including the development of the bonds and derivatives markets necessary for infrastructure financing.