Anoop Bali, Whole Time Director, Tourism Finance Corporation of India (TFCI), informs how they are playing their part in creating tourism infrastructure across the country, both with the private sector as well as the government via PPP mode.
In existence for 30 years, Tourism Finance Corporation of India (TFCI) aims to provide finance and advisory services to the tourism sector in India. Explaining further about how TFCI is supporting tourism infrastructure, Anoop Bali, Whole Time Director, Tourism Finance Corporation of India (TFCI), says, “We have been financing hotels and other tourism products across India. Till now, we have catalysed investment, which has led to development of around 55,000 star category hotels within the country. This is our core business, and we continue to fund hotels across India. We also do other types of projects which are into adventure tourism, religious tourism, travels and tour agents and other tourism places.”
Shedding light on the new projects, Bali said, “Most of the projects we have done are medical tourism-oriented projects. We did some hotel projects, which were attached to hospitals, and we did one in Hyderabad and one in Gurgaon. We also introduced spa tourism in the country with funding of Ananda in the Himalayas. We also did Atmantan in Pune. These are special projects. We also funded Palace on Wheels and later Deccan Odyssey.”
Working with MOT
When asked about working with Ministry of Tourism (MOT), he said that most of the projects are being taken up by the private sector. “We are more attuned to funding the private sector and that is our core business. However, whatever government policies they are bringing in, we are supporting and moving into those regions and providing financial assistance,” he informed.
Speaking on PPP mode, which is coming up, Bali shares, “I think we must see every project from a commercial point of view. We are doing PPP projects.
However, there are certain amendments required. We want all PPP projects to have a substitution clause. Hence, if a project is not able to perform commercially well, then any lending institution should have a right to replace it with some other corporate entity to take that project on. If there were certain modifications, we are requesting the MOT and state ministries, as this is also a state subject.”
‘Change govt policies’
While he pointed out that the present government has taken a number of steps for creating tourism infrastructure, he said, “The road infrastructure is now much better than what it used to be, and because of this, a lot of travel destinations are coming up because travelling
through expressways has become easier. Hence, people are driving to destinations and this has led to many opportunities. Ultimately, tourism accommodation and other products have to be prioritized by the private sector and that is how it should happen.”