Govt to fund high­ways projects cost­ing over

The Political and Business Daily - - BUSINESS -

ALL high­ways projects cost­ing more than Rs 50 crore will now be taken un­der EPC mode with a slew of steps be­ing taken to in­fuse a fresh cap­i­tal in the road sec­tor, the govern­ment to­day said. "The Min­istry has de­cided to take all projects cost­ing Rs 50 crore on engi­neer­ing, pro­cure­ment and con­struc­tion (EPC) mode," Min­is­ter of State for Road Trans­port and Hi­hg­ways Kr­is­han­pal Gur­jar said in a writ­ten re­ply in the Lok Sabha. Un­like PPP model where the pri­vate sec­tor has to fund the road build­ing, in the EPC model, the govern­ment funds a high­way, with pri­vate firms de­sign­ing and build­ing the road. Gur­jar said the govern­ment has re­cently taken a num­ber of steps to boost in­vestor sen­ti­ments and en­cour­age more in­vest­ment in the road sec­tor in order to ex­pe­dite projects.

"These in­clude for­ma­tion of a high level ex­pert set­tle­ment ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee for one time set­tle­ment of old cases pend­ing in the courts; to com- plete all pre-con­struc­tion ap­provals prior to award of a project; stream­line the process of grant of en­vi­ron­ment clear­ances by the MoEF, fa­cil­i­tat­ing exit to eq­uity in­vestors...and in­fuse fresh cap­i­tal into the sec­tor," he said.

The govern­ment has also re­cently ap­proved pol­icy for ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion of pre­mium quoted by con­ces­sion­aires in re­spect of high­way projects that are stressed, he added.

The high­ways sec­tor has re­cently hit a low with bid­ders shy­ing away from bids in the wake of a plethora of prob­lems in­clud­ing eq­uity crunch and de­lays in green nods and land ac­qui­si­tion. Last week Road Trans­port and High­ways Min­is­ter Nitin Gad­kari had said that as many as 189 projects with a cost of Rs 1,80,000 crore are stuck due

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