K.V. Kamath appointed chairman of NaBFID

The finance ministry on Wednesday appointed veteran banker K.V. Kamath as the chairman of the newly constituted development finance institution National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NaBFID). 

The Department of Financial Services in the Finance Ministry in a tweet said: “New approach to building #AatmaNirbharBharat! Central government has appointed Shri K.V. Kamath to the post of Chairperson, National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development, a newly set up DFI in India.” 

In March this year, the Parliament passed the NaBFID bill paving the way for the creation of a DFI which will help fund long term infrastructure projects in the country. The DFI will be initially wholly owned by the government, but its stake will be reduced to 26% later. The Union budget has allocated  ₹20,000 crore to capitalize the DFI, which is expected to create a lending portfolio of at least  ₹5 trillion in about three years. It will be based in Mumbai, with regional offices in different cities. 

The new entity will help provide finance options for projects in the National Infrastructure Pipeline. This also comes at a time when the union government has decided substantially increase investment in infrastructure projects to help pull the economy out of the covid-19 induced slowdown. 

As part of the National Infrastructure Pipeline, the union government plans to invest  ₹111 trillion in the next four years to 2025. 

Kamath till 2020 was the first president of the National Development Bank funded by the five BRICS member countries after completing his five-year tenure. Kamath is credited to have built the multilateral lending institution from the scratch. BRICS consists of five of the largest emerging market economies such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. 

Kamath is also credited for catapulting ICICI Bank Ltd to the status of India’s second-largest lender. He headed the bank for 13 years until 2009. He was also the non-executive chairman of Infosys Ltd, India’s second-biggest software services exporter. Kamath also spent eight years at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila between 1988 and 1996, where he was part of the private sector department. He later returned to India to take over as managing director and chief executive of ICICI Bank.

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