Meeting held after the cabinet clears hybrid mode of financing road building
GN Bureau | January 28, 2016
In a bid to remove roadblocks and resolve contentious issues that are stalling highway projects in the country, union finance minister Arun Jaitley and transport minister Nitin Gadkari today held a meeting with the bankers, contractors and the builders.
Jaitley and Gadkari agreed to make changes in the mandatory model concession agreement between the banks and borrowers to simplify the loan approvals.
Stressing that the growth in transport sector will have spiral effect on all sectors, Jaitley asked the bankers and contractors to expedite the pending projects as early as possible.
“We have simplified the procedures, made alternative options of flexibilities available for bankers, contractors. We are hoping to award 10,000 Km of highways by march”, said Jaitley.
The meeting came a day after prime minister Narendra Modi chaired a cabinet meeting taking the stock of the progress of key infra projects. Nearly 421 national highway projects are delayed due to cost escalation and disputes between bankers and concessionaires.
Both the ministers spoke about recent cabinet decisions where the government has decided to fund 40% of project cost of high way projects bid on PPP mode. On Wednesday, the cabinet had approved yybrid annuity model for implementing the highway projects bid on PPP mode.
Under this model, the PPP mode projects will receive 40% of project cost from the government to the concessionaire or contractor. Remaining 60% has to be arranged in form of debt and equity.
Gadkari had told a news agency that his ministry is seeking a record Rs 700 billion ($10.3 billion) in government spending to boost road construction and spur economic growth.
In addition to a more than 50 percent increase in budgetary allocations in the fiscal year starting April, Nitin Gadkari said that his ministry is also looking to borrow overseas. The overall target is Rs 5 trillion road projects over the next three years, he said.
"The policy of our government is giving more priority for development of infrastructure," Gadkari, 58, said in New Delhi on Tuesday. "There is no problem of investments, no problem of money. We only need to fast track our decision-making process."
The transport ministry is also considering options for overseas loans, according to Gadkari. While interest rates may be attractive, the challenge is to find solutions for foreign- exchange hedging costs, Gadkari said.
Gadkari aims to build 100 kilometers of roads a day, up from about 18 kilometers currently. A new funding model is expected to speed things up -- the government will pay an annuity to the successful bidder for a project to cut financial risks. The road ministry has received bids for eight projects under the plan, and will seek offers for another 27 before March, the minister said.
Gadkari's targets are ambitious. In the year through March 2015, India built 4,410 kilometers (2,740 miles) of highways, compared with the goal of 6,300 kilometers.
Prime minister Narendra Modi celebrated three-year of his government on May 26 by inaugurating Dhola-Sadiya bridge over the Brahmaputra river in Assam’s Tinsukia district. It is the longest bridge in India, which runs 9.15 km from end to end and connects Assam with Arunachal Pradesh.
IndianOil posted a net profit of Rs 19,106 crore for 2016-17 fiscal as compared to a profit of Rs 11,242 crore in the last fiscal. The income from operations for the financial year 2016-17 was Rs 4,45,373 crore as compared to Rs 4,06,828 crore in the previous fiscal. IndianOil`s income from
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) carried out first flight of light utility helicopter (LUH)-PT-2 on May 22 at its Bengaluru-based facility. The flight duration was about 22 minutes and pilots reported nil snag, HAL said. “These maiden flights of indig
Narendra Modi is like Greek mythology’s King Midas: whatever he touches turns into gold. Most people in this country are left dazzled by his ability to make dramatic announcements with a statuesque flourish. The past three years of the Modi government have left the
Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has added another feather to its cap by successfully commissioning another 270 MW thermal unit at RattanIndia Nasik Power Limited’s 5x270 MW thermal power project at Sinnar (Nasik) in Maharashtra. This is the fourth unit to be c
Chaudhary Birender Singh, minister for steel, said that the Indian steel industry is at the cusp of a significant milestone by becoming the second largest stainless steel producer in the world, leaving behind Japan. He said that the steel sector is only an example of all-round development in India. The c