TN eyes $33bn in­vest­ments in in­fra, hous­ing


TAMIL Nadu is eye­ing $33 bil­lion in Is­lamic Sovereign Wealth Fund In­vest­ments to build in­fra­struc­ture and half a mil­lion homes for eco­nom­i­cally weaker sec­tions.

At the World Is­lamic Eco­nomic Fo­rum (WIEF) and United Eco­nomic Fo­rum (UEF) Cham­ber of Com­merce Round­table 2018 on Satur­day, deputy chief min­is­ter O Pan­neer­sel­vam said WIEF and UEF had set a tar­get of at­tract­ing $33 bil­lion to TN. Of­fi­cials pitched for in­vest­ments in TN In­fra­struc­ture Fund, the first Cat­e­gory-I Al­ter­na­tive In­vest­ment Fund estab­lished by any State un­der SEBI reg­u­la­tions, and the SEBI-reg­is­tered TN Shel­ter Fund, to fi­nance af­ford­able hous­ing and re­con­struc­tion of slum ten­e­ments. Both are man­aged with TN In­fra­struc­ture Fund Man­age­ment Com­pany, which has raised $350 mil­lion.

THE deputy chief min­is­ter, while woo­ing in­vest­ments from the Is­lamic fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions, said TNIFMC planned to at­tract more in­ter­na­tional in­vest­ment, both for TNIF and for the Tamil Nadu Shel­ter Fund.

Hous­ing sec­re­tary S Kr­ish­nan urged in­vestors to fi­nance Shel­ter Fund, a so­cial im­pact fund with lower rate of re­turns. He high­lighted that the State was plan­ning to build half a mil­lion homes for the poor and needy for which $60 bil­lion was re­quired. In­dus­tries min­is­ter MC Sam­path and In­dus­tries sec­re­tary K Gnanade­sikan also reached out to in­vestors.

Arif Buhary Rah­man, chair­man of UEF Cham­ber of Com­merce and Tun Misa Hi­tam, a for­mer deputy prime min­is­ter of Malaysia and chair­man WIEF Foun­da­tion, said Tamil Nadu was the sec­ond largest econ­omy in In­dia and was stated to grow from $230bn econ­omy to $600 bil­lion econ­omy.

Tun Misa Hi­tam said the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis had led many gov­ern­ments to look for in­no­va­tive and al­ter­na­tive forms of fi­nanc­ing for busi­ness and in­fra­struc­ture devel­op­ment. Shariat-com­pli­ant fi­nance was be­ing seen as more sta­ble com­pared to con­ven­tional bank­ing sys­tems and there­fore more ap­peal­ing to bor­row­ers, he said.

Mean­while, dur­ing the fo­rum, del­e­gates also sug­gested the ter­mi­nol­ogy Is­lamic be avoided in the con­text of fi­nance mech­a­nisms as peo­ple tend to link it to ter­ror fi­nanc­ing. One of the del­e­gates sug­gested it to be merely called mort­gage fi­nanc­ing as the term ‘Is­lamic fi­nance’ would “di­vide so­ci­ety”.

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