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NIIF will function like SWF, to be operational by Dec: Sinha

To be operational by the year end, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund will primarily focus on fund infusion in infrastructure projects - greenfield, brownfield and the stalled ones

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NEW DELHI, July 31: The proposed Rs 20,000-crore National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) will function as a sovereign wealth fund like Singapore's Temasek and operate at "arm's length" from the government, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said today. To be operational by the year end, NIIF will primarily focus on fund infusion in infrastructure projects - greenfield, brownfield and the stalled ones. "It will be a commercially oriented enterprise and will be located in Mumbai and operate at arm's length from government," Sinha said. "We will be hiring the best talent in the world for this institution so that they can assess and evaluate a variety of investment opportunities using the most sophisticated valuation techniques," he added. The government, he said, will ensure that NIIF operates like sovereign wealth funds such as Temasek (of Singapore) and the Green Investment Bank in the UK. Government's equity in the project will be capped at 49 percent, he said, adding that the remaining portion will be held by the large business groups as well as provident fund, endowment and sovereign wealth funds. Several countries have shown interest in the fund, he said.