Road Logistics

Highways on fast-track! Road projects worth Rs 25 lakh crore to be built;

Multiple steps have been taken by the Modi government to attract investments in the infrastructure sector, said Union Minister Nitin Gadkari recently. These steps include revising asset monetisation models as well as setting up SPVs for the Delhi-Mumbai corridor project worth Rs 1 lakh crore. Also, Gadkari said that road projects worth Rs 25 lakh crore will be developed as part of the infrastructure building programme of Rs 100 lakh crore, announced by PM Modi. The minister was quoted in a PTI report saying that on Wednesday, he cleared two large highway projects worth Rs 65,000 crore including the Amritsar-Ajmer express highway project worth Rs 35,000 crore.

In order to attract more investment in the asset monetisation programme under toll operate transfer, Gadkari said the model has been revised in line with the department of disinvestment model allowing an asset’s realistic price discovery. According to the minister, infrastructure debt funds have been enabled to participate in the asset’s direct financing under monetisation through this route. He further said that many projects have been made available in order to help investors plan their investments. Besides, Gadkari said that for investments in the Delhi-Mumbai corridor, investment trusts and SPVs have been introduced.

SPV National Highways Logistics Management Company has been set up for 35 logistics parks under the Bharatmala initiative, with NHAI Member Manoj Kumar as its Chairman. Toll collections, with an enhanced focus on electronic toll collection through FASTags, are likely to reach an amount of Rs 33,000 crore by the month of March and swell to Rs 1 lakh crore by the year 2025, Gadkari said. While elaborating on multiple interventions to fast-track construction of highways, the Union Minister said financial as well as technical qualification has been relaxed for eligibility in order to encourage wider participating of builders in HAM, EPC and BOT models of the road sector.

Gadkari said that large financial relief packages have been given to existing partners in the construction and road sector to help them cope with the logistic and financial issues faced due to the economy slowdown. According to the minister, working capital requirements have been streamlined by rescheduling as well as fast-tracking payment cycles, thereby releasing payments worth over Rs 8,000 crore in such measures in the first six months of the lockdown.

To ease cash flow in the sector, performance security requirement has been done away and so far, Rs 4,000 crore funds have been released, Gadkari said. For the losses, the existing PPP contractors either in BOT, HAM or toll have been compensated, he further said. To expedite work in the sector, policy initiatives include revision of PPP model agreement, permission for 90% land acquisition before the project as well as the introduction of revenue sharing model every five years, Gadkari added.

Read More: Highways on fast-track! Road projects worth Rs 25 lakh crore to be built;

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