Mumbai, India (Urban Transport News): In a determined move to fund its expansive infrastructure ventures across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has initiated the process to secure loans amounting to Rs 20,000 crore.
Underlining its commitment to multiple infrastructure undertakings, MMRDA has allocated a significant budget of Rs 28,705 crore for the ongoing fiscal year of 2023-24. These projects encompass a range of initiatives, including the development of Metro corridors, the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, the Versova-Vasai Sea Bridge, and the underground road connecting the Eastern Freeway and Marine Drive, among others. Despite the daunting financial demands posed by these ambitious projects, MMRDA officials remain resolute in their pursuit of a transformative vision for the region.
Officials within the government have confirmed that SBI Capital Markets has been entrusted with the task of inviting expressions of interest (EOI) from potential lenders who can provide rupee-denominated debt for MMRDA. In exchange for its role in facilitating the fund-raising process, SBI Capital will receive a fee amounting to 0.25% of the total raised.
In a significant development dating back to July 2022, the state cabinet had granted its approval for MMRDA to procure loans totaling Rs 60,000 crore. The initial phase will involve the borrowing of Rs 20,000 crore, with the government poised to act as the guarantor to support the financing of pivotal infrastructure projects within MMR.
Based on the updated Comprehensive Transport Study - 2 released in October 2021, a staggering sum of Rs 5 lakh crore is projected to be required over a 20-year span for diverse infrastructure endeavors, encompassing the establishment of Metro systems, dedicated bus lanes, cycling lanes, and more, within MMR. The expansive region encompasses an area spanning 6,355 sq km, encompassing Mumbai and parts of Thane, Palghar, and Raigad districts, while serving a population of 2.5 crore.
Recognizing its limitations in generating revenue via taxation, MMRDA has devised strategies to augment its financial resources, focusing on land transactions and asset monetization, particularly within the ambit of the burgeoning Metro network.
While the anticipation of steady cash flow from multiple revenue streams over the coming quarter-century is evident, the cap of Rs 60,000 crore for loans serves as a contingency measure to mitigate potential financial challenges stemming from project delays and the consequent impact on revenue influx.
Amidst its assurance of debt repayment through levies on residential, commercial, and industrial developments, coupled with land monetization, MMRDA remains optimistic. The fruition of real estate transactions, including land sales and Floor Space Index (FSI) utilization, holds the promise of a substantial windfall for MMRDA.