Govt mulls firm to build roads abroad

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Moushumi Das Gupta moushumi.gupta@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Buoyed by in­fras­truc­ture de­vel­op­ment, es­pe­cially in high­ways and ship­ping sec­tors, pick­ing pace in In­dia, the govern­ment is dream­ing big.

The govern­ment has drawn up an am­bi­tious plan to set up In­dia In­fras­truc­ture In­ter­na­tional, a joint ini­tia­tive of the high­ways min­istry, ship­ping min­istry and in­fras­truc­ture com­pa­nies, which will com­pete in the global mar­ket for un­der­tak­ing in­fras­truc­ture projects.

“Apart from giv­ing con­sul­tancy, pre­par­ing project re­ports, the com­pany will fa­cil­i­tate the Na­tional High­ways Au­thor­ity of In­dia (NHAI), the cen­tral agency that builds high­ways across In­dia, as well as pri­vate in­fras­truc­ture com­pa­nies to bid glob­ally for projects,” said a se­nior high­ways min­istry of­fi­cial.

The min­istry last week moved a cabi­net note in this re­gard.

“While the high­ways and ship­ping min­istry will have 40% equity in the com­pany, the re­main­ing 60% will be held by in­fras­truc­ture com­pa­nies and in­dus­try fed­er­a­tions such as FICCI and CII,” said an­other of­fi­cial.

The of­fi­cial, how­ever, said the NHAI’s global foray won’t be at the cost of its do­mes­tic com­mit­ments: “NHAI’s main pri­or­ity would still be build­ing high­ways in In­dia.”

The min­istry plans to build 20,000km of high­ways in the next four-five years at an in­vest­ment of Rs1.86 lakh crore.

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