The $3-billion (Rs 13,500 crore) infrastructure investment fund is a joint venture between India's State Bank of India and Australian financial conglomerate Macquarie group, with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, being a minority shareholder.
The fund ,which raised a capital of $ 1 billion at its launch in April 2009,has committed $600 million (around Rs 2,700 crore) in Moser Baer's Madhya Pradesh thermal power plant, Viom Telecom, a tower company, and Adhunik Power and Natural Resources, up to January 2011.
The fund is a major player among the 97 companies, which have been shortlisted by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for highway projects construction.The bidding for highway projects, involves two stages. In the first stage, bidders are selected, according to their technical competence to execute the projects. The second round involves financial bidding by the participants who clear the previous round.
The other eligible contractors , which have qualified for the high priced highway projects are Plus Expressway Behrad of Malaysia (Rs 11,350 crore), Australia's Leighton Contractors (Rs 10,000 crore) and L&T Infrastructure Development Projects (Rs 9,800 crore).Global infrastructure heavyweights ,such as Leighton, Plus and Isolux Corsan and Indian firms like IRB Infra, GMR Infra, Tril Roads, Lanco, Reliance Infra, IRB Infra, IL&FS and GVK are also among those shortlisted for the highway projects.
India is stepping up its infrastructure development and aims to spend a massive $1.2 trillion on infrastructure in the next few years. The country aims to construct 7,200 kilometers of roads in 2011-12, with the estimated combined cost of the projects to be Rs 55,000. However, the output of construction has been very slow, with only 4-5 kilometers per day being constructed against a target of 20 kilometers per day.