- Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said asset monetisation offers a good business opportunity for industry players
- Gadkari said this will also help govt to unlock the value of investment made in creating such infrastructure
- Under the Bharatmala project, the government plans to build 83,677km of national highways
Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari, on Thursday, said that the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is planning to raise ₹ 1 lakh crore by the means of implementing monetisation of the national highways in the next five years and exhorted industry players to come forward to reap rich dividends by investing in it.
Along with the portfolio of road transport, Gadkari also portfolio of MSME and said this will spur growth and the funds could be roped in creating sound infrastructure.
Addressing the national conference of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on “Road Infrastructure – Creating Demand: Stimulating Growth”, Gadkari said, “NHAI is planning to raise ₹1 lakh crore through monetisation of highways under toll operate transfer (TOT) mode in the next five years”.
The Union minister said that the asset monetisation will offer good business opportunities to the industry players in existing infrastructure as well as will help the government in unlocking the value of investment made in creating infrastructure.
He said, “It will be a win-win situation for both industry players and the government,” and added that it will result in augmenting the infrastructure of the entire country.
The National Highway Authority of India is authorised to monetise the public-funded national highway projects, which are operational and are collecting toll for at least one year after the commercial operation, through the TOT (Toll Operate Transfer) model on a case-to-case basis.
Gadkari also termed the launch of the national asset monetisation pipeline as a pathbreaking initiative that will catalyse the long-term investment in Indian infrastructure projects.
He additionally said that the Indian government is in the process of setting up a new Development Finance Institution (DFI).
The institution is being set up on a capital base of ₹ 20,000 crore and will have a lending target of ₹ 5 lakh crore in three years, said the Union Minister who added that the government is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring the availability of adequate funding and infra creation during COVID-induced slowdown.
Gadkari termed National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) as the first-of-its-kind initiative, the minister said that there are more than 7,300 projects under it to be implemented at a cost of ₹111 lakh crore by the year 2025.
He said, “Projects worth ₹44 lakh crore are under implementation under NIP and projects worth ₹34 lakh crore in the conceptualisation stage, while another ₹22 lakh crore worth of projects are under development stage”.
He said that road building has reached the pace of 35 kilometres a day and is likely to be increased to 40 kilometres a day by the end of the month.
Terming it a phenomenal achievement, Nitin Gadkari said under the ₹ 5.35 lakh crore Bharatmala, contracts for a length of 13,521 kms highways have been awarded while projects for building 16,500 kms are under (detailed project report) stage.
Bids have been invited for another 4,800 kms length of highway projects, the Minister said, and complemented the construction industry to match the emerging demand.