infrastructure | IST

Budget 2020: Roadmap for private participation key to spur growth, says IRB's Mhaiskar

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In the lead up to the 2020 Union Budget, VD Mhaiskar, chairman and managing director of IRB Infrastructure Developers and Shubham Jain, vice-president, corporate ratings at ICRA talked about the latest in the infrastructure sector and the sector's wishlist from the budget.

In the lead up to the 2020 Union Budget, VD Mhaiskar, chairman and managing director of IRB Infrastructure Developers and Shubham Jain, vice-president, corporate ratings at ICRA talked about the latest in the infrastructure sector and the sector's wishlist from the budget.
Mhaiskar said that the government's roadmap in inviting private participation to spur growth will be eagerly awaited.
“It is clear and evident from numbers that the awards have been falling and there is certainly a pressure on how much the government can spend on its own. We have seen that the kind of spend, if government decides to do all on its own, will be humongous and given the fiscal constraint, I do not think that is possible to be done by the government alone.
“We have seen that the build-operate-transfer (BOT) kind of projects, which were the mainstay of the government till sometime back, had disappeared totally in the scheme of thing. I think it has an important role to play going forward and if that is brought back in a meaningful way it can certainly help in achieving the larger picture of spurring growth by way of doing more kilometres of road projects and a roadmap to achieve that is something which we will look at in the upcoming budget because that’s is badly needed,” Mhaiskar added .
He is unsure if the budget can address issue of tepid institutional flows.
“Today corporate loan has become a bad word. Banks don’t want to give any corporate loans. In fact, corporate loan is the need to the hour. If corporate loans are started back by the banks and if the government pushes them to consider this on a need based basis, there cannot be a reckless lending but at the same time if this construct is brought back, it will help complete a lot of projects and can reignite the whole animal spirit that is required,” said Mhaiskar.
About the PPP and BOT model, Jain of ICRA said, “There are some changes which are required in the public private partnership model or BOT sector.
“Not only the road sector becomes competing but the other modes of transportation like inland waterways or dedicated freight corridor (DFC) on which there is a huge thrust of the government on improving infrastructure in those segments also. So rather than making those competing with each other, the government should devise a holistic plan to make them complementary to each other so that they can gain the confidence of the investors and the banks at the same time,” added Jain.
He further said that National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) has not played an adequate role in infrastructure financing.
“In this budget institutes like credit scheme, NIIF etc., they should be given larger role to play in funding this huge NIP which has been envisaged by the government,” Jain added.
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