Nitin Gadkari says NHAI IPO is 'in process'; raps banks' funding pace

Nitin Gadkari. Photo: PTI
The central government might decide to list the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on the stock exchanges, as a way to bypass the need for bank funding. 

And, perhaps also use the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) model for financing road construction, said Nitin Gadkari, the minister in charge. “It (NHAI IPO) is in the process now. I'm thinking, but I need approval from the finance ministry,” he said. The minister did not reveal details of a plan to list the NHAI, beyond saying he needed approval from the ministry for this. He complained banks were taking up to 12 months to approve financial closure for highway projects.

Gadkari was speaking to journalists after addressing an event at the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce. “There are no constraints in raising funds. We are capable of generating resources through innovative ways,” he said. With timely action, he added, the government had saved banks from assets worth Rs 3 lakh crore from becoming bad loans.

He conceded there were such difficulties from the past, but asked banks to be more forthcoming and look at projects in a newer way.  The NHAI has enough money to undertake projects by itself in the EPC mode, he said. The ministry had gone for this route in the Rs 44,000-crore Mumbai-Vadodara Expressway project, he said, asserting there was no dearth of funds for such schemes. However, he also said, the build-operate-transfer route was a preferable way to do infrastructure projects.

New initiative

  • Nitin Gadkari said NHAI may use the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) model for financing road construction

  • Gadkari said the government had saved banks from assets worth Rs 3 lakh cr from becoming bad loans

  • NHAI has enough money to undertake projects by itself in the EPC mode, Gadkari said

  • The ministry had gone for the EPC route in the Rs 44,000-cr Mumbai-Vadodara Expressway project

  • He said the build-operate-transfer route was a preferable way to do infrastructure projects


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