RAILWAYS

Kerala targets Rs 20,000 crore infrastructure spending by March 2021

Kerala’s off-budget funding arm KIIFB has set a target of achieving Rs 20,000-crore infrastructure spending by the end of the next financial year. The governing body of KIIFB, which met last week, has approved projects worth Rs 4,014 crore. This takes the total number of approved projects by KIIFB to 675, totalling Rs 35,028.84 crore.

Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) is a state-run financial institution that harnesses funds, including NRI investments, for infrastructure development without affecting the state budget outlay.

“We plan to spend Rs 20,000 crore on infrastructure by the end of the next financial year through KIIFB,” state finance minister TM Thomas Isaac said. “Capital expenditure will be ramped up in the coming months without waiting for any stimulus package,” he added.

The newly approved projects include 24 road projects. This means one road each for the hill highway and infrastructure for three hospitals, one bypass, 56 schools, seven railway over-bridges, one flyover, one fishing harbour and two tourism projects.

The KIIFB governing body also approved the report of the Fund Trustee Advisory Commission (FTAC), a statutory body under the KIIFB (Amendment) Act, 2016, chaired by former CAG Vinod Rai.

Isaac said KIIFB has also approved the sanction of Rs 14,275 crore for acquiring land for industrial parks and Rs 5,374 crore for development of national highways (NHs). So, the total project outlay so far is to the tune of Rs 53,678 crore.

KIIFB has offered to shoulder 25% of the acquisition cost of land for development of NHs. The state government, KIIFB and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) have signed a tripartite agreement to this effect.

Isaac also hinted that the state budget would continue to lean heavily on KIIFB for pushing its public works projects. So far the KIIFB kitty has seen an outflow of Rs 4,480 crore on infra projects.

Source
Financial Express
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