The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) seems to be making all efforts to take the bull by the horns. The public sector undertaking which is responsible for award of national-level road projects has asked the government for relaxation of customs and excise duty on inputs related to construction of roadways. In addition,it has written to the Election Commission asking for permission to award road projects for which bids have already been invited.
The Planning Commission is also working on a plan that will provide gross budgetary support,possibly through viability gap funding,for development of 40,000 km of roads in the country. We are working on this and are looking for suggestions with regards to the source of funding, Member Planning Commission Anwarul Hoda said addressing the CII Construction Summit in New Delhi. The government is also planning to table a land acquisition bill in Parliament to facilitate land acquisition for infrastructure projects,which is one of the major hurdles being faced by developers.
We have received bids for 19 projects of the 37 for which tenders were invited. The process is on and it will take some time for the RFP stage to get over. We have asked the Election Commission for permission to award these projects as they were announced last year, NHAI director finance A Didar Singh said at the summit.