Financing of infrastructure projects would be facilitated by the government wherever banks are not able to fund the total requirements, Nitin Gadkari, Union minister for road transport and highways, said on Saturday. Speaking at the FE Best Banks Awards in Mumbai, Gadkari said not a single road project is stranded for want of funds, as the National Highways Authority of India has stepped in to bridge the gap. The minister said projects worth about Rs 3 lakh crore that might have turned into non-performing assets in the roads sector had been salvaged with government help. Of the total 403 projects worth Rs 3.5 lakh crore, the majority were now back on track.
The minister pointed out that eight projects in the roads sector that were stalled for the last three-four years had been financed by the National Highway Authority of India just 15 days back. These were mid-sided projects in the range of Rs 300-600 crore. The minister said many companies have been able to raise money in the equity markets and finance their projects, citing the example of Cochin Shipyard.
Gadkari observed that despite woes of the past, bankers now had much to look forward to. He pointed to the recent uptick in the economy being an initial sign of things to come, with large projects in the roads, irrigation and river-linking sectors ready to kick off. He signed off saying that achieving growth of 8% was not unrealistic, adding that we must take a positive approach.