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KIIFB approves fresh infrastructure projects totalling ₹4,014 crore in Kerala

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on January 21, 2020

The governing body of Kerala Infrastructrure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) that met on Tuesday a day after the Executive Committee meeting has approved projects worth ₹4,014 crore.

This takes the total number of approved projects by KIIFB to 675 totalling ₹35,028.84 crore, State Finance Minister Thomas Isaac told newspersons here on Tuesday.

Mobilising infra funds

KIIFB is a government-owned financial institution to mobilise funds for infrastructure development from outside of the State revenue. It is a statutory body constituted under the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Act, 1999. Its funding process starts either with declaring priority projects for KIIFB funding in the State Budget or by a decision of the Council of Ministers.

The Finance Minister said that KIIFB has also approved sanction of ₹14,275 crore for acquiring land for industrial parks and ₹5,374 crore for development of national highways. This takes the total project outlay till date to ₹53,678 crore.

Lion’s share

Projects in the new list include 24 road projects, one each for the hill highway, three hospitals, one bypass, 56 schools, seven railway over-bridges, one flyover, one fishing harbour and two tourism projects.

On behalf of the State government, KIIFB extends 25 per cent of the cost of acquisition of land for national highway development, which amounts to ₹5,374 crore. A tripartite agreement has been reached to this effect between the State government, KIIFB, and the National Highways Authority of India

The minister said that ₹347.9 crore has been credited to concerned account. According to him, projects under the Public Works Department worth ₹2,989.56 crore account for a lion’s share of those approved by KIIFB.

Whistleblower policy

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

A number of new initiatives have been finalised by the KIIFB board to scale up transparency, significant among which is a whisteblower policy. This will be extended to all SPVs spun off from KIIFB, going forward.

An independent member of the KIIFB has been appointed as an Ombudsman under this policy.

Till date, an amount of ₹4,480 crore flowed out of KIIFB as expenditure. It expects the spending to considerably increase during the rest of the months. The minister set a target of ₹20,000 crore by the end of the next financial year.

Published on January 21, 2020

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