Infra funds should tap insurance, pension sectors for funds: Chidambaram

Infrastructure debt funds (IDFS) should try to mobilise resources from insurance and pension sectors as these funds are available for long tenures, finance minister P Chidambaram said,  at the signing of the first tripartite agreement by India Infradebt Fund (IDF), an infrastructure debt funds promoted by ICICI Bank, Bank of Baroda, Citibank and LIC with National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

The finance minister later handed the first tripartite agreement signed between India Infradebt Fund (IDF), Himalyan Expressway Limited and NHAI, for a project of strengthening of the existing carriageway spreading across Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. The project is in operational phase, an official release said.

This is one more step in operationalising the IDF structure as conceived by the ministry of finance and is in line with the centre's commitment to attract funds for infrastructure development, the statement added.

IDF will provide long-term financing solutions to develop infrastructure in India, with a capital base of Rs300 crore.

With the signing of the tripartite agreement, the IDF will disburse its first loan under the IDF scheme. It also strengthens the confidence of domestic and overseas investors in Indian infrastructure sector.

Chanda Kochhar, CEO and MD of ICICI said the tripartite agreement was the outcome of partnership between two key ministries – finance ministry and the ministry of road transport and highways.

''Financing infrastructure is the national agenda and will require cooperation and partnership of all institutions and players,'' she added.