Saturday, June 23, 2007

Tourism infrastructure to be developed in Sikkim with IL&FS

Gangtok:The Tourism Department of Sikkim has tied up with the Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Limited (IL&FS), a non-banking financial corporation, to form a special purpose vehicle to take up infrastructure works to give a fillip to tourism in the State.
A Memorandum of Agreement was signed between Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) represented by RK Mathur, Advisor, and LB Chettri, Chief Executive Officer on the behalf of Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation (STDC) here today in the presence of GP Upadhaya, Commissioner-Cum-Secretary, Tourism Department, officials of the Tourism Department and executives of the IL&FS.

Tourism projects would be taken up under the public-private partnership mode. The STDC and IL&FS would be selecting areas for Tourism Infrastructure Development in Sikkim under the Public – Private – Partnership – format. Initial targeted areas for development are ropeways connecting places of tourist importance, development of air connectivity in the State, high end hotel projects, high end tourist resorts and medium range hotels.
A Project Development Committee which will be constituted with equal members from STDC and IL&FS will select projects based on feasibility reports both short term and long term.
A corpus will be created with contribution from both Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation & Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services by earmarking out of the North East Tourism Project Development Fund to be managed by North East Tourism Development Company Pvt.Ltd.
The Infrastructure Leasing & financial Service will be providing oversight in managing the entire process spanning projects Identification, Project Development, Project management, Proposal Preparation and Promotion of industrials Development. The IL&FS shall mobilized financial resources from Private Sectors/ Markets for identified projects on behalf of the Operations /Contracts /State Government and it-self also contribute to co-financing arrangement for the project development.
The Government's new tourism policy recognised the importance of inviting private sector investment and new tourism circuits have to be developed and analysed for their financial viability, said Mr. GP Upadhaya, Commissioner-Cum-Secretary, Tourism Department
The firm IL&FS was incorporated with the initial equity participation from banks like UTI, Central Bank of India and HDFC.
It had successfully implemented projects in sectors like roads, water and sanitation, tourism industrial parks etc., across the country.