Infrastructure Finance Companies: An NBFC Institution

Infrastructure Finance Companies

The reserve bank of India decided that having a separate category for infrastructure finance NBFCs was important in the public interest and for the bank’s ability to supervise the credit system in the nation’s best interests. One of the activities carried out by the NBFC firm is lending money to infrastructure companies. Infrastructure Finance Loans are mostly given by businesses to the infrastructure industry. 

In India, a particular class of NBFCs known as Infrastructure Finance Companies (IFCs) is dedicated to offering long-term funding for infrastructure projects. IFCs are essential in assisting the nation’s infrastructure sector’s expansion and development. This blog will discuss the infrastructure finance company in detail.

What Is Infrastructure Finance Company?

An infrastructure Finance Company is one of the categories of NBFC or a financial firm that specialises in lending money to infrastructure businesses. The RBI considers An IFC a non-banking financial company in the following ways:

  • If at least 75% of its assets are used for infrastructure loans.
  • Net owned funds of at least Rs. 300 billion
  • The minimum credit score of “A” or equivalent of CRISIL, FITCH, CARE, ICRA, or other rating agencies that accredit lenders.   
  • CRAR of 15% (with a minimum Tier I capital requirement of 10%).

What Is Infrastructure Loan?

It refers to the loan facility provided by NBFCs to a borrower for exposure to the infrastructure sectors and subsectors listed below.

S.noCategoryInfrastructure Sub-sector
1.Transport Roads and bridges Ports  Inland Waterways  Airport  Railway track, tunnels, viaducts and bridges Urban Public Transportation, excluding rolling stock when referring to urban road transportation  
2.EnergyOil pipelines  Oil/Gas/Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) storage facility  Electricity transmission  Electricity distribution Electricity Generation Gas pipelines, 
3.Water and SanitationSolid waste management water supply pipes Water treatment facilities    Sewage collection, treatment, and disposal system; and  Irrigation (dams, canals, embankments, etc.). System for Storm Water Drainage
4.CommunicationFixed-network telecommunications  Towers for telecommunications
5. Social and Commercial InfrastructureHospitals (capital stock)  Educational institutions (capital stock)  Hotels designated as three stars or higher that are outside of cities with a population of more than a million people  Common infrastructure for industrial parks, SEZs, tourism destinations, and agricultural markets Fertiliser (Capital Investment)  Infrastructure for cold storage of agricultural and horticultural goods after harvest Markets at terminals Testing facilities for soil  Cold Chain

What Does Credit Facility Mean Under The Definition Of Infrastructure Loan?

The RBI states that “Credit facility means a term loan, project loan subscription to bonds, debentures, preference shares, equity shares in project companies acquired as part subscription amounts to be “in the nature of advance” or any form of the long-term funded facility provided to a borrower company engaged in developing, operating, and maintaining infrastructure facilities that are projected in any of the sub-sectors as specified.

READ  Credit Rating of Non-Banking Financial Company's (NBFCs) in India

What Norms Does IFC Follow For Granting Credit/Loan?

IFC awards credit based on the following principles: 

  • In lending to
    1. lending to any one borrower at 10% of its own funds (i.e. at 25% of owned funds), 
    2. Lending to any one group of borrowers at 15% of its own funds (i.e. at 50% of own funds).
  • In Lending and Investing,
    1. A single party will receive 5% of its owned money (or 30% of all owned funds), and 
    2. A single group of parties will receive 10% of all owned funds (or 50% of all owned funds).
  • The current Investment norms, which are outlined in Directions for both single parties and single groups of parties, will not change:
    1. A maximum of 15% of the company’s own funds can be invested in shares of another company, not more than that.
    2. A single group of enterprises may not be invested more than 25% of its Owned Funds in shares of that group.

The Indian Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL)

When a minimum of 75% of assets are allocated to the infrastructure sector, an NBFC is authorised as an infrastructure finance company. The Indian government1, in an effort to address the problem faced by infrastructure businesses, authorised a plan for financing viable infrastructure projects through a special purpose vehicle known as India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd. “Adopt best practises in financing infrastructure and develop core competencies in facilitating infrastructure development” is the stated objective of IIFCL.

Capital and Other RBI Requirements

Capital Requirements 

(1) Every NBFC-IFC must maintain a minimum capital ratio of Tier I and Tier II capital equal to at least 15% of its total risk-weighted assets on the balance sheet and of the risk-adjusted value of off-balance sheet items. 

READ  Guidelines for Ind AS Implementation by NBFC’s, ARC’s issued by RBI

(2) The Tier I capital at any given time must be at least 8.5 percent by March 31, 2016, and 10 percent by March 31, 2017, respectively. 


I. On balance sheet assets– 

(1) The balance sheet assets in these Directions have been assigned varying levels of credit risk expressed as percentage weights. Therefore, to get an asset’s risk-adjusted value, the value of each asset or item must be multiplied by the appropriate risk weights. The total must be considered when calculating the minimum capital requirement. The weighted sum of funded components, as described below, will be used to determine the risk-weighted asset:

Weighted risk assets – On-Balance Sheet items Percentage weight
Cash and bank balances, including fixed deposits and bank certificates of deposits 0
a. Approved securities [With the exception of (c) below] 0
b. Public sector bank bonds 20
c. Shares of all corporations, debentures, bonds, commercial papers, and units of all mutual funds 100
d. Fixed deposits, certificates of deposits, and bonds of public financial institutions 100
e. Every asset pertaining to PPP and post-commercial operations date (COD) infrastructure projects that have existed for more than a year 50
Current assets  
a. Stock on hire (net book value) 100
b. Loans and deposits between corporations 100
c. Fully secured advances and loans against stored deposits 0
d. Loans to staff 0
e. Other secured loans and advances are deemed acceptable 100
f. Purchased or discounted bills 100
g. Other (to be specified) 100
Fixed Assets (Net of Depreciation)  
a. Assets leased out (net book value) 100
b. Furniture and fixtures 0
c. Premises 0
Other Resources  
a. Income tax deducted at source (net of provision) 0
b. Amount paid in advance for tax (net of provision) 100
c. Interest owed on government bonds 0
d. Other (to be specified) 0
Domestic Sovereign  
a. Fund claims based on the Central Government 20
b. Investment in State Government Securities and exposure to Direct Loans, Credit, Overdrafts, and Overdrafts 100
c. Central Government guaranteed claims  
d. State Government guaranteed claims, 40 which have not remained in default/ which are in default for a period not more than 90 days  
e. State Government guaranteed claims, which have remained in default for a period of more than 90 days  

II. Off-balance sheet items 

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In general, NBFC-IFCs must include the risk-weighted amounts of off-balance sheet items that are tied to the market-related and non-market-related off-balance sheet items. This is how they determine the total risk-weighted credit exposure. An off-balance sheet item that causes credit exposure must have its risk-weighted amount determined in two steps: 

  • The transaction’s notional amount must be converted into a credit equivalent amount by applying the current exposure method or multiplying it by the designated credit conversion factor; and 
  • The equivalent credit amount will then be multiplied by the appropriate risk weight, which is 0% for exposure to the federal government or state governments, 20% for exposure to banks, and 100% for exposure to other entities.

Off-Balance sheet Items are further divided into: 

  • Non-Market related Off-balance sheet items
  • Market-related off-balance sheet items 
  • Current Exposure Method.
  • Credit conversion factors for Credit Default Swaps (CDS)

Developmental Role Played by IFCs

IFCs have specialised knowledge and experience in financing infrastructure. They are aware of distinctive qualities and difficulties faced by diverse infrastructure sectors. By facilitating the flow of long-term finance, fostering public-private partnerships, encouraging innovation in project financing, and removing the funding gap for infrastructure projects, infrastructure finance companies help to develop the infrastructure sector as a whole.


IFCs are essential to mobilise and direct money for infrastructure development, bridge the financing gap, and promote sustainable economic growth. IFCs support the development of vital infrastructure assets that drive economic activity that improves living standards by offering long-term finance, expertise and creative solutions.


What is an Infrastructure Finance Company?

An infrastructure Finance Company is one of the categories of NBFC or a financial firm that specialises in lending money to infrastructure businesses.


Yes, the India Infrastructure Finance Company LTD (IIFCL) is an NBFC established to offer long-term financial support to viable infrastructure projects through the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) scheme.

Is IIFCL a government or private company?

IIFCL is a wholly owned Government of India Company that was established in 2006. It complies with the relevant prudential standards of the Reserve Bank of India and has registered with RBI as NBFC-ND-IFC since September 2013.

Which company recently got the Infrastructure Finance Company status from RBI?

The state-owned Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) has recently obtained the Infrastructure Finance Company status from the Reserve Bank of India.

How many NBFCs are registered in RBI?

The list of NBFCs registered with the RBI as on March 31, 2023, is 9443.

Which is the top 1 NBFC in India?

BAJAJ Finance LTD is a deposit-taking Non-Banking Financial Company registered with the Reserve Bank of India. It is a subsidiary of Bajaj Finserv Ltd and operates in the business of lending. It is India’s largest NBFC finance company by turnover.

Also, Read: New Trend in NBFC Business Model, Challenges and a Scalable Business model.


  1. https://www.india.gov.in/

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