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Viability Gap Fund (GoI)
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What It is :

GoI has established a Viability Gap Fund to aid the PPP infrastructure projects which face the viability gap due to inherent nature of the project. The Viability Gap Funding Scheme provides financial support in the form of grants, one time or deferred, to infrastructure projects undertaken through public private partnerships with a view to make them commercially viable. The Scheme is administered by the Ministry of Finance.

Provision has been made to provide upto 20% of total project cost as capital grant to meet the funding gap. Also in such project sponsoring agency/department/state can give additional 20% of the project cost VGF support.

The project should meet the following criteria:

The PPP project should be implemented, i.e. developed, financed, constructed, maintained and operated for the Project term by a Private Sector Company to be selected by the Government or a statutory entity through a transparent and open competitive bidding process. The criterion for bidding shall be the amount of viability

gap funding required by the Private Sector company for implementing the project where all other parameters are comparable.

The PPP project should be from one of the following sectors:

· Roads and bridges, railways, seaports, airports, inland waterways

· Power

· Urban transport, water supply, sewerage, solid waste management and other

· physical infrastructure in urban areas

· Infrastructure projects in Special Economic Zones

· International convention centers and other tourism infrastructure projects

·

Empowered Committee may, with approval of the Finance Minister, add or delete sectors/sub-sectors from the aforesaid list.

The project should provide a service against payment of a pre-determined tariff or user charge.

The concerned Government/statutory entity should certify with reasons the following:

· The tariff / user charge cannot be increased to eliminate or reduce the viability gap of the PPP

· The Project Term cannot be increased for reducing the viability gap

· The capital costs are reasonable and based on standards and specifications normally applicable to such projects and the capital cost cannot be further restricted for reducing the viability gap

This scheme will apply only if the contract/ concession is awarded in favour of a private sector company in which 51% or more of the subscribed and paid up equity is owned and controlled by a private entity.

The Sponsoring Authority of a PPP project may, in case a doubt exists regarding admissibility of the project under the Scheme, submit the project concept to the Department of Economic Affairs in the prescribed proforma. The Department of Economic Affairs would indicate to the Project Authority within seven working days of the receipt of the proforma whether it could be posed for consideration of the Empowered Institution.

How to get it :

Approval Process :

The proposal should be sent (in six copies, both in hard and soft form) to the PPP Cell of the Department of Economic Affairs in the prescribed format. The proposal should include copies of all project agreements and the project report.

The proposal will be circulated by the PPP Cell to all members of the Empowered Institution for their comments. All comments received within four weeks shall be forwarded by the PPP Cell to the concerned Administrative Ministry, State Government or statutory authority, as the case may be, for submitting a written response to each of the comments. In case the project is based on a model concession agreement, the comments will be furnished within two weeks.

The proposal, along with the project report, concession agreement and supporting agreements/ documents, together with the comments of the respective Ministries and the response thereto, will be submitted by the PPP Cell to the Empowered Institution for consideration and 'in principle' approval. While submitting the proposal to the Empowered Institution, the PPP Cell will indicate whether the proposal on forms to the mandatory requirements of the scheme. Deficiencies, if any, will be indicated in the note of PPP Cell.

Appraisal and Monitoring by Lead Financial Institution

The PPP project shall be awarded within four months from the date on which eligibility of the project is conveyed by the Empowered Institution to the concerned

Government/statutory entity. The Empowered Institution may extend this period if an application is made by the concerned entity.

Appraisal of the project will be carried out by the Lead Financial Institution (LFI) within three months from the date of bid award and presented for consideration and approval of the Empowered Institution.

The Lead Financial Institution will be responsible for regular monitoring and periodic evaluation of project compliance with agreed milestones and performance levels particularly for the purpose of disbursement of Viability Gap Funding.

Disbursement of Grant

The Empowered Institution, the Lead Financial Institution and the Private Sector Company shall enter into a tripartite agreement for the purposes of this Scheme.

The Empowered Institution will release the grant to the Lead Financial Institution as and when due.

The Grant will be disbursed only after the Private Sector company has subscribed and expended its equity contribution required for the project and will be released in proportion to debt disbursements remaining to be disbursed thereafter.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 December 2008 13:55