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June - July 2008
FINANCE MINISTER OF INDIA INAUGURATES IIFC (UK) OFFICE AT LONDON
Mr. P. Chidambaram, Finance Minister inaugurated the offshore subsidiary of the Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL) - IIFC(UK) Ltd, on 10th March in London.
In his keynote address the Finance Minister observed that the Indian economy is humming with productive activities and has the potential of 8 percent plus growth over the next two decades. He said that in view of this the development of infrastructure assumes a very high significance to sustain such a high level of growth. The Government has taken a number of initiatives for encouraging development of projects and has set apart a fund for the purpose. To ensure smooth growth of infrastructure, the creation of IIFCL and now IIFCL (UK) are amongst the major steps to facilitate adequate availability of finances for the sector. He commended the performance of IIFCL that it has achieved in a short span of two years. Mr. Chidambaram further said that anyone dealing with IIFC(UK) would be in a win-win situation and stand to gain, as the operations of IIFC(UK) would not only help in building of infrastructure in India but would promote exports of plant and equipment from other countries. He explained the huge investment opportunities in the infrastructure sectors like airports, power, ports and highways etc.,
3. Finance Minister complimented the performance of IIFC in financing 78 infrastructure projects to the extent of $ 4.2 billion involving a project cost of around $30 billion in a short period of two years.
4. Earlier welcoming the guests, Mr S S Kohli, Chairman & Managing Director, IIFCL stated that the offshore arm will be supplementing the role of IIFCL in financing India’s infrastructure. The Company would be borrowing from the Reserve Bank of India up to a maximum of $ 5 billion to make payment outside India again import of plant and machinery.
5. Addressing the audience, Prof. Lord Meghnad Desai, Professor Emeritus, London School of Economics complimented the role of the new team led by Prime Minister and Finance Minister Mr. Chidambaram in putting in place right policies, including the top priority accorded to infrastructure requirements. Ms. Sharon Bamford, Chief Executive, UK India Business Council also spoke on the occasion on the increasing bilateral economic engagements between India and UK.
6. Addressing the gathering, Ambassador Asoke Mukerji, Acting High Commissioner said that the setting up of IIFCL(UK) has added to expanding economic relations between India and UK. He referred to the recent takeover of Jaguar and Land Rover by TATA Motors after the major acquisition of Corus by TATA Steel. He also referred to the recent visit of business delegation from the Confederation of Indian Industry which called on Prime Minister Gordon Brown and areas which were identified for joint cooperation like skill upgradation and joint research in the environment friendly technologies etc.
7. The event was attended by eminent representatives from investment bankers, industrialists, venture capitalists, technical consultants and commercial bankers, including Indian diapora. The vote of thanks was delivered by Dr. N. K. Madan who has taken over as Managing Director of the IIFC (UK) Ltd.