Infrastructure Current Affairs
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Kerala has become first state in the country to have four international airports with the inauguration of Kannur airport. The first commercial flight from this airport Air India Express flight IX 715 with 180 passengers on board to Abu Dhabi was flagged off recently. The other three international airports are Trivandrum International Airport, Cochin International Airport and Calicut International Airport.
Kannur international airport
It is built on a public-private partnership (PPP) model. It is spread across 2,000 acres of area It will help non-resident Keralites (NRKs), especially in the Gulf region, besides boosting tourism and exports, which will result in several job opportunities. Its commissioning is expected to pave way for state’s overall development and prosperity, especially northern region. It will boost tourism in the region like Wayanad, Kannur and Kasargode. It may also increase inter-trade in sectors such as spices and handloom.
Union Government has inked $300 million Loan Agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) to support lending by India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL). The loan will enhance availability of long-term finance for PPP projects, improve operational capacity of IIFCL. It will expand portfolio of infrastructure financing instruments available to IIFCL. It is expected to compliment Government’s infrastructure building efforts.
ADB funding is expected to fund at least 13 sub-projects through IIFCL, involving roads and renewable power generation, under the last tranche. It expected to help catalyze the financial closing of $2.4 billion in investments. In addition, attached technical assistance will support IIFCL capacity development and will focus on IIFCL’s financial management and social and environmental safeguards. It will support renewed effort of Central Government in accelerating infrastructure growth through increased Private Sector investment. The Project undertaken it will be relevant and responsive to constraints to bank based infrastructure financing, fiscal space creation, and repercussions on GDP growth.
India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL)
It was set up in 2006 to provide long term debt for infrastructure projects. It provides financial assistance to commercially viable projects, which includes projects implemented by public sector company, private sector company; or private sector company selected under Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative. IIFCL raises funds from domestic as well as external markets on strength of government guarantees.
Following sectors projects are eligible for financing from IIFCL:
- Gas pipelines;
- Cold storage chains;
- Fertilizer Manufacturing Industry
- Infrastructure projects in Special Economic Zones;
- International convention centres and other tourism infrastructure projects;
- Road and bridges, seaports, railways, airports, inland waterways and other transportation projects.
- Urban transport, water supply, sewage, solid waste management and other physical infrastructure in urban areas.