NHAI toll revenue to jump to Rs 1.40 lakh cr in 3 yrs: Gadkari
New Delhi: Toll revenue of the NHAI will soar to Rs 1.40 lakh crore per annum in the next three years from Rs 40,000 crore per annum currently, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday.
Addressing an event here, the Road Transport and Highways Minister said that there is a huge opportunity for investors in India’s infrastructure sector as the traffic density is rising every year.
“Our (state-owned NHAI’s) current toll income is Rs 40,000 crore. It will rise to Rs 1.40 lakh crore in the next three years,” he said.
Inviting investments in the infrastructure sector, Gadkari said that size of Indian economy is rising, so naturally, internal rate of return on infrastructure projects is also rising.
The Union minister said conciliation committees should decide cases related to road infrastructure projects within three months, as delay in the decision making process results in higher costs.
For faster settlement of claims through conciliation and reduce liabilities, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has rigorously started the process of conciliation by constituting three Conciliation Committees of Independent Experts (CCIE) of three members each.
These committees are being headed by retired officials from the judiciary, senior experts from public administration, finance and the private sector.
Making a strong case for accelerating the bankruptcy resolution process, Gadkari said no purpose is served if the financial matter is held up at courts and tribunals for a longer time.
“We need to change our thinking about the issues concerning bankruptcy of companies as there are business cycles and all defaults are not frauds,” Gadkari, who is known for his frank views on any issue, said.
Referring to the delay in getting completion of bankruptcy related cases, the road transport and highways minister said the bankruptcy tribunal NCLT is facing shortage of judges.
“When a patient is serious, he needs to be treated immediately. There is no point in giving oxygen to a patient after he is dead.
“Similarly, in case of financial disputes, the matter has to be resolved fast and not delayed as is happening at NCLT,” he said.
Gadkari said he would like to set up a committee under a retired judge to find out why the state-owned NHAI lost arbitration appeal cases in the Supreme Court (SC) in the last five years.
The minister said he would penalise those who are responsible for mindlessly filing appeals in the Supreme Court in arbitration awards which have gone against.