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”.