New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday announced the Cabinet’s decision to establish a ‘special window’ to provide priority debt financing to the tune of Rs 25,000 crore for completion of stalled housing projects in the affordable and middle-income housing sector, stated news agency ANI.

A rough estimate of over 1600 housing projects are currently stalled, noted Sitharaman. The Union Finance Minister was quoted by news agency ANI as saying, “We’ve come up with a special window that will be structured as an Alternative Investment Fund which will pool all these investments.”

Speaking on behalf of the Indian government, the finance minister noted that the government would sponsor funds up to Rs 10,000 crores. It must be noted that these funds will be set up as per Category-II Alternate Investment (AIFs) Fund registered with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), stated news agency ANI. Sitharaman added that the Government, Life Insurance Corporation and State Bank of India will together infuse a sum of Rs 25,000 crore towards the real estate sector.

Notably, this government funding is applicable only if the projects meet certain criteria. The projects must be either net-worth positive, fall under the affordable and middle-income housing sector, on-going and registered with RERA,  referred by an existing lender, stated new agency ANI adding that stressed projects classified as NPA and those in NCLT also are eligible for the funding.

This press conference announcement came after Sitharaman’s meeting with a high-level delegation led by Foreign Minister of Finland Pekka Haavisto earlier in the day. Haavisto was slated to discuss issues of mutual interest with Sitharaman and then visit Tamil Nadu for the opening ceremony of a KONE manufacturing unit.