Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board Current Affairs - 2019

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Pravasi Dividend Pension Scheme

The government of Kerala has launched ‘Pravasi Dividend Pension Scheme. The governor of Kerala P. Sathasivam made this announcement in the address to the state assembly.

About the Scheme

The scheme has been introduced by the government of Kerala as part of welfare measures towards Pravasi Malayalis. Under the scheme, a regular pension would be provided to Non-Resident Keralites on a one-time payment of Rs 5 lakh. This onetime payment would be deposited with KIIFB (Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board) for financing infrastructure projects.

On the occasion, Governor also announced an international a Toll-Free Line to provide information, register complaints and details about the action taken on various issues faced by the Non-Resident Indians from Kerala and an interactive portal to provide information on job opportunities in various countries, online attestation and recruitment processes.

NRIs of Kerala

The NRI Kerala, God’s own country makes a significant contribution towards the welfare of the state. The inflow of NRI deposits to Kerala stood at Rs 1,52,348 crore at March 2017. Kerala has 2.1 million migrants across the world. and almost 90 per cent of the migrant Keralites are in the Middle East.

The government had initiated Loka Kerala Sabha (LKS) with the aim of using the expertise, talent and resources of NRIs from Kerala for the overall growth and development of the state. The LKS provides a platform for offering meaningful say by the NRI community in implementing schemes for building a new Kerala.

Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board to issue masala bonds worth Rs 5,000 crore for development works

Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) is going to issue masala bonds worth Rs. 5,000 crore to mobilise funds for various development works. KIIFB has appointed Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings for rating the masala bonds issue. The bonds will be listed in London and Singapore stock exchanges. The funds will be raised in tranches over period of 10 years.

KIIFB

It is Kerala government owned financial institution. Its mandate is to mobilize funds for infrastructure development from outside state revenue. It is statutory body constituted by Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Act, 1999.

Masala bonds

Masala bonds are rupee-denominated bonds through which Indian entities can raise money from foreign markets in rupee and not in foreign currency. Basically, it is debt instruments used by corporates to raise money from foreign investors in local currency. The issuance of rupee denominated bonds transfers risk associated with currency fluctuations to investors and not to the issuers. This is especially during depreciation of domestic currency and when borrowing is in foreign currency as company has to pay more while repaying its debt, or while servicing interest on such borrowings if the rupee weakened. From the issuer’s perspective, masala bonds provides cheaper borrowings compared to raising funds in India besides helps in diversifying its sources of fund-raising. Besides, it also helps in internationalization of the rupee and in expansion of Indian bond markets. Its issuance in long term can help to check slide of rupee and also reduce current account deficit over time.