Expedite fund raising efforts: Parl panel to NHAI
A parliamentary panel pulled up NHAI for failing to raise targeted funding and asked it to meet the goal as soon as possible.
National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) was allowed to raise Rs 59,279 crore through Internal and Extra Budgetary Resources (IEBR) during 2016-17.
"NHAI could raise only Rs 27,831 crore out of Rs 59,279 crore till January 2017 which is far behind target," a parliamentary panel on Transport chaired by Mukul Roy said in its latest report.
The fund was raised through EPFO, bonds from LIC, market bidding and 54 EC capital gain bonds.
Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture said it was not convinced with the IEBR projections and questioned as to how the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways (MORTH) would complete projects targeted for next fiscal as there is a huge gap of funding through market resources.
"The Committee wishes that NHAI should make endeavour with extra energy to generate more funds in the year 2017-18 to complete its targets more vigorously," it said.
It also recommended that the ministry should make an extra effort to achieve the required target for funding of new projects envisaged during 2017-18.
Earlier this month, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari too had expressed unhappiness over NHAI's performance and said it should have more power to fast-track road projects.
"We have to strengthen the power of NHAI and the Board... Our proposal is pending and we are expecting that the Cabinet will enhance the power of the NHAI. That will be useful for road construction," he has said.
Stating that even state PWDs were faring better than NHAI, Gadkari said, "This is not done. I am expecting at least Rs 10,000-crore worth of road construction from the NHAI".
Rating agency Icra too has recently said that NHAI is likely to miss the target for awarding and execution of road projects by a 'wide margin'.
MORTH has planned to increase both awards and execution in financial year 2016-17 by 2.5 times from that of the 2015-16 levels.
For NHAI, the goals are steep with a target execution of 8,000 km (21.92 km/day) and awards at 15,000 kms.
In August 2016, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had authorised the NHAI to monetise public funded National Highway projects which are operational and generating toll revenues for at least two years after the Commercial Operations Date through the Toll-Operate-Transfer (TOT) model.
Seventy-five operational national highway projects totalling 4,376 kms completed under public funding have been preliminarily identified for potential monetisation, using the TOT model.
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