To increase exposure in research and development, the Export Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) has decided to utilise Rs 2,000-crore fund in research activities for the pharma sector.
"We will be the implementing agency for the Rs 2,000 crore fund allocated by the Commerce Ministry for the pharma sector," Exim Bank chairman and managing director TCA Ranganathan said here today on the sidelines of FICCI organised Banking Conclave 2012.
He said Exim Bank wants government contribution in this fund to keep the cost of lending rates low.
"Final structure of the fund for the scheme is not yet finalised. We can contribute the entire amount but we want government should contribute to keep the lending rates low," Ranganathan said.
"Funding through market borrowing will be costlier," he added.
The bank which was mainly known for financing export and import related activities, was already into funding for research activities for corporates to enhance competitiveness for exports.
"We have already spent Rs 500 crore on auto companies like Mahindra and Reva under R&D scheme," Ranganathan said.
Besides that, pharma Exim Bank is also interested in having sector-specific fund for engineering.
A $500-million fund is also on the anvil dedicated for the SME sector for modernisation and technology development.
The bank has also mooted a scheme for financing art, design and IT sector.
Meanwhile, Exim Bank grew by 20 per cent in the April-June period of the current fiscal.
Ranganathan said in July the bank got Rs 200 crore equity support from the government.