PMO likely to approve special package for roads
Government sources say that the meeting is likely to discuss the bottlenecks that have led to a slowdown in road projects and may work out an interim relief to projects that were awarded on premium to make them viable.
“A large number of projects, awarded on premium in the last fiscal, may have become unviable for companies due to rising input costs and high cost of borrowings. For such projects, premium amount may be reduced for the initial few years providing them some relief. But the total amount of premium, as committed by these projects, will be same,” said a government official.
Quoting at a premium amounts to committing an annual payment to the government over a period of time that is the concession period. Companies bid a premium if they are confident the toll revenue accruing to them would more than offset their costs.
Officials of NHAI and the road transport ministry feel that the revival of the sector will happen only after the government gives some kind of a relief to the sector.
NHAI, which awarded a record 6,700 km of road projects in 2011-12, also awarded a record 31 out of 51 projects at a premium. The highways authority is also to earn around Rs 3,000 crore annually through premium payments, which would grow at a