No shortage of funds to meet road construction targets, says Nitin Gadkari

By: | Published: December 5, 2015 12:28 AM

The road transport and highways minister said apart from the budgetary support of Rs 42,000 crore, the ministry has the provision to raise Rs 70,000 crore through bonds

Road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday said though getting private sector investment in road development is a priority, he was confident of meeting the targets for road construction through the EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) mode if the private investments remained inadequate.

“We don’t have any paucity of funds. But don’t misunderstand me. I welcome private investment and want to give priority to PPP first. But if people are not interested, we are not going to slow down the pace of road development. We are not dependent upon private investors,” Gadkari said speaking at a public-privateNegotiators make little progress as first week of climate talks draws to a close-partnership (PPP) summit, organised by industry body CII in New Delhi.

The minister said apart from the budgetary support of Rs 42,000 crore, the ministry has the provision to raise Rs 70,000 crore through bonds. It can also get something like Rs 1-1.25 lakh crore through securitising 101 road projects. Tolling also brings it close to Rs 8,000 crore per annum. Apart from this, as much as Rs 2 lakh crore could be raised through debt.

‘Govt to soon frame integrated policy to check pollution’

Meanwhile, he said government will soon frame an integrated policy to check pollution by over 10-year-old commercial vehicles (CVs) but there’s no immediate plan to ban trucks and busses above 15 years. The discarded vehicles would be valued at 10-15% of the original cost. Tax exemption by the government and discounts by manufacturers would also be considered so that the owner of old vehicle gets an overall benefit of up to Rs 2.5 lakh on a new purchase.

“An integrated policy to check pollution by over 10-year-old commercial vehicles will be formed soon. A cabinet nod will be sought on it and only then it will come into force. There is no such decision at present to ban 15 years old commercial vehicles,” he said.

“No policy can be in piecemeal without Cabinet approval. Whatever decision we will take, it will be based on integrated approach,” Gadkari added.

Gadkari also said that the government will set up a committee of experts from IIT to look into Volkswagen’s emission case before deciding on any penalty on the German auto major, which is recalling 3,23,700 cars in India.

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