New Delhi: Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman lead a delegation including the two Ministers of State for Finance and Secretaries from the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Corporate Affairs to GIFT City today. The delegation engaged in discussions on matters of development and growth of India’s maiden International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) at GIFT City, Gandhinagar.
A couple of Interactive Sessions on Capital Markets and Banking & Insurance were held in parallel initially chaired by the respective Secretaries in groups. Presentation were made during the event by MD & CEO GIFT City followed by Chairman IFCSA. The presentations covered all aspects of the journey of GIFT-IFSC with reference to the initial vision of Hon’ble PM Shri Narendra Modi, how far things had come and the way forward to further elevate the stature of GIFT. Thereafter, an open discussion was organized regarding Growth Opportunities in GIFT-IFSC in which the Finance Minister participated and emphasized the need to find solutions and move forward.
Sithraman also announced during the event that Department of Economic Affairs has just last week approved three key proposals of International Financial Services Centre Authority (IFSCA). The first was the proposal of Rs. 200 crore for a Head Quarter Building for IFSCA which has Rs 100 crore as Grant in Aid and the remaining Rs 100 crore as loan from the government. The second was the proposal of Rs. 269.05 crores for development of IT infrastructure of IFSCA and the third was the IFSCA FinTech Scheme of Rs 45.75 crore.
The Finance Minister said that it is Government of India’s endeavour to make India a global financial gateway through GIFT-IFSC at GIFT City.
Sitharaman also visited GIFT City and was given a glimpse into its unique features. The Finance Minister visited the Automated Waste Collection System (AWCS), the Underground Utility Tunnel, the Bullion vaulting Facility, as well as India INX. A presentation was also made to Smt. Sitharaman at India INX by NSE IFSC, India INX and IFSCA on the proposed International Bullion Exchange at GIFT IFSC given high demand for gold in India.
The Finance Minister said that the bullion exchange is expected to come into play soon for which all the necessary infrastructure inclusive of safe vault facilities are built and are operational and indicated that Bullion exchange will be a big game changer for India. Smt. Sitharaman exhorted officials to look at various ways in which more companies can get listed at GIFT IFSC, more transactions can happen here, more funds can be raised from here by companies, and how the bond market activities at GIFT IFSC can be improved, deepened and widened.
The Finance Minister also suggested that there is a need for an interaction with leading start-ups dealing with FinTech and other activities which are present in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Gurugram and other locations. Smt. Sitharaman also urged the Government of Gujarat to explore options on facilitate leading start-ups to locate outside the IFSC but within the GIFT City so that the ecosystem which is necessary for global financial hub can be created.