Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has cleared two proposals of the International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) at GIFT City in Gandhinagar, Gujarat here during her one-day visit on Saturday. The proposals are worth 469 crore.

Sitharaman announced formal clearance of 269.05 crore for supervisory technology fund for IT infrastructure and 200 crore for headquarter building, the Ministry of Finance said.

She also underlined the central government’s commitment to make GIFT City a world-class fintech hub as stated in the Union Budget 2021-22.

“Two proposals of the IFSCA have been cleared. One is the headquarters of 200 crore, of which 100 crore is loan and 100 crore is a grant. Another is supervisory technology fund for IFSCA IT infrastructure which is of 269.05 crore. Both have been sanctioned,” she announced.

The Budget’s IFSC-related measures include tax holiday for capital gains for aircraft leasing companies, tax exemption for aircraft lease rentals paid to foreign lessors, tax incentive for relocating foreign funds in IFSC and exemption to investment divisions of foreign banks, the Ministry of Finance said in a series of tweets.

The minister was here “to review efforts to develop India as a gateway to global financial services for corporates,” it said. Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary and finance ministry officials accompanied her during the visit.

She also attended a presentation which emphasised on how GIFT-IFSC is especially targeted towards companies in offshore banking, capital markets, offshore asset management, offshore insurance, IT services, ITeS/BPO services, and ancillary services sectors.

The finance minister also visited the India International Exchange, an automated waste collection system and inspected a 4.5 km long underground utility tunnel, it said.

She was also briefed about the bullion vaulting facility at the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City).

India International Exchange commenced operation on January 16, 2017. As on November 18, 2021, its daily turnover has crossed USD 6 billion, with the exchange having 38 members.

As of October 2021, there are 21 banking licences at GIFT City, including 15 domestic banks, five foreign banks, and one multilateral institution, the ministry said.

The banking asset size of GIFT City has increased to USD 22 billion as of October 2021, its banking transaction crossing USD 125 billion, and derivatives trade by IFSC banking units crossing USD 135 billion between May 2020 and October 2021, it added.

GIFT City is an integrated city built on 886 acres of land, which includes office spaces, residential apartments, schools, hospital, hotels, clubs, retail and various recreational facilities — all hallmarks of a state-of-the-art integrated financial centre, it said.

(With PTI inputs)

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