Speaking in a debate on the National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development Bill, 2021, he said that would a government company where huge resources will be invested be without an oversight mechanism? “It will not even come under ambit of CAG, you are creating an act in perpetuity without parliamentary oversight mechanism”, he said.
“What happens to the other organisations like LIC which has been doing infrastructure financing? Does the Government believe that only foreign funding can build India’s infrastructure?, he wondered.
“The biggest challenge for us is to enhance the pool of infrastructure. We have to stimulate domestic saving and not be dependent on foreign funds,” he further said.
The Bill should not be passed with just two hours of discussion and without being send to a select committee or a standing committee, Mr Ramesh said.
BJP lawmaker Syed Zafar Islam said this would help the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to build a ‘New India’.
Referring to the Chinese investment in fixed assets was around 8 trillion dollar which sums to 50 per cent of their GDP, Mr Islam said, ‘For developing the modern infrastructure, we need long term funding mechanism and the present institutions engaging with financing infrastructure have many inherent issues and lack sufficient funds.
Speaking on the Bill, BJD Member Sujeet Kumar said, ‘We need to recognise the importance of infrastructure in our country and that need huge financing and many developed countries have enacted legislations for the development of financial institutions’.
“The bond market in India is not in a condition to finance heavy infrastructure projects. Hence, a Bill like this is building a principle infrastructure financing institution. I hope the government will ensure adequate checks and balances and accountability”, he said.
TRS Member Banda Prakash also said that the challenge would not be in setting it up, but for it to meet the targets that have been set for it. “Initially the Central government will hold 100 per cent shares which may subsequently be reduced to 26 per cent,” he added.