IDFC to buy Gurgaon expressway from DSC
An approval from the NHAI board is necessary for the transaction and the board is scheduled to meet on January 30. It might take a while for the deal to materialise, as roads secretary AK Upadhyay is set to retire on January 31 and may leave the matter for his successor to decide.
Separately, the ministry of road transport and highways is seeking Cabinet approval for an easier exit policy for road developers which will allow the concessionaire to make a complete exit immediately after commencement of commercial operations. Under the current policy, the original concessionaire has to keep at least a 26% stake for the entire concession period. Once the new policy is in place, DSC will be able to make a complete exit from the project.
According to observers, if the proposed transaction is approved by the NHAI board, it will be a win-win situation for all three parties — contractor, lenders and NHAI. The lenders’ consortium as of now is led by IDFC and includes PSU banks such as Punjab National Bank and Bank of India.
DGSCL already has huge liability including the Rs 1,600-crore debt that will be taken over by IDFC, and the need for immediate measures to improve the traffic and road conditions will be its responsibility.
If the deal goes through, IDFC will be collecting toll till 2023 to recoup the funds. For NHAI, the salvaging of the project is crucial in sustaining
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