To make finance readily available for road projects, the government is mulling to vest the ownership of roads with highways regulator NHAI, which can lease them out to private developers so that they can raise loan against such property.
"We are considering vesting the ownership of roads with the NHAI. The roads will become the property of NHAI, unless divested," Transport Secretary Brahm Dutt said.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) Act provides that either roads are entrusted with the highways
regulator or it becomes the owner of roads, he added.
Currently, roads are only entrusted with the authority which licences them to private developers who cannot provide
such roads as security to avail loans from banks and other institutions.
Once the roads are vested with the NHAI, the authority can lease them to the developer who can securitise the property to raise money.
"We have sent the proposal to the NHAI and sought their views for making this change," Dutt said.
NHAI will take a decision keeping in view the stamp duties and taxes that it will have to own the properties, he said.