Qatar Holding, a subsidiary of the Qatar government-owned Qatar Investment Authority, has agreed to invest $250 million (approximately Rs 1,683.83 crore) in Arthveda Fund Management Private Limited’s new low and middle income housing fund. Arthveda Chief Executive Officer Bikram Sen said the subscription of the entire fund by Qatar Holding represented the first substantial foreign investment into India’s affordable housing segment after the presentation of the Union Budget, The Hindu Business Line reported.

A third of the investments into the fund will be used for projects in Mumbai’s suburbs, with Arthveda also investing in projects in cities such as Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Jaipur and Lucknow. “It also helps that the government has relaxed foreign direct investment norms, making it easier for us to now invest,” Sen said, according to Mint. The company will invest in projects where homes will be priced between Rs 12.5 lakh-Rs 30 lakh for the lower income segment and projects with homes between Rs 25 lakh-Rs 30 lakh for the middle income segment, Sen said.

According to Arthveda, India needs to construct at least 19 million urban housing units in the lower and middle income categories by 2022, with the total capital required for the overall construction being $1 trillion (approximately Rs 67.35 lakh crore). In the Budget, the government said that investments in affordable housing will now be categorised as an infrastructure investments, which is expected to positively impact the cost of investing in such projects.