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Transport ministry set for roadshows overseas

business Updated: Jul 10, 2009 21:39 IST

India will showcase investment opportunities in road infrastructure overseas through roadshows conducted jointly with the country’s second largest lender, ICICI Bank.

The attempt would be to try and attract investors to raise part of the Rs 1,00,000 crore that’s required to build over 7,000 km of roads in a year.

The idea is to convey India’s seriousness in implementing road projects and get the best of technology and project construction practices, said Kamal Nath, the minister for road transport and infrastructure, at a meet addressed jointly with Chanda Kochhar, managing director & CEO of ICICI Bank.

Nath said the government would be working close with banks such as ICICI Bank to take the roadshows to the more developed countries with the aim of convincing investors.

“The first work plan towards building the national highways involves a cost of Rs 1,00,000 crore, which could be raised as equity and debt and would involve innovative ways of financing apart from the usual BOT or toll booth revenues streams,” he said.

Kochhar said one of the innovative funding options could be to securitise the toll revenues already being generated at roads across the country.

Nath said the government also intends to create in India professional toll collection companies, which can bring the best global practices and technology. He said the toll revenue of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) should rise to over Rs 7,000 crore in the next two to three years from Rs 2,000 crore now, if toll schemes were implemented efficiently.

Nath said the first choice for taking up road projects would be those where it would be possible to levy toll for its use, but bids for projects would not be invited before 80 per cent of the land acquisition is completed and the necessary notification for acquiring the remaining 20 per cent issued.