Four-Fold Increase In NHAI Borrowings, Says Minister Gadkari

by Arun Kumar Das - Aug 4, 2021 10:14 AM +05:30 IST
Four-Fold Increase In NHAI Borrowings, Says Minister GadkariA representative image (NHAI)
Snapshot
  • According to the Road and Highways Ministry, till this March end, the cumulative borrowing stood at approximately Rs 3.1 lakh crore compared to Rs 74,742 crore in March 2017.

In a sharp increase, the total borrowings of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has risen four-fold in the past five years. According to the Road and Highways Ministry, till this March end, the cumulative borrowing stood at approximately Rs 3.1 lakh crore compared to Rs 74,742 crore in March 2017.

In a written reply, Union Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said in the Parliament that the NHAI has availed external borrowings to the tune of Rs 3,000 crore and only in 2020-21, the highways authority paid Rs 18,840 crore as interest.

On the mechanism being adopted for servicing the debt, Gadkari said, “The NHAI creates valuable road assets which are financially viable. Since 2017, NHAI has constructed a total 17,042 km of public funded roads, with an expenditure of about Rs 4.08 lakh crore."

The completed public funded road assets are being tolled. The NHAI is also monetising the assets through ToT/InVIT modes, to generate revenue for repayment of the loans and further construction.

Since 2017, NHAI has serviced its debt amounting to Rs 74,337 crore. The NHAI is doing regular exercises for balancing its assets and liabilities, ensuring a sustainable debt level. The Minister also said there are 140 arbitration cases pending before various arbitral tribunals with Rs 91,875 crore claims from contractors and Rs 44,600 crore counter claims from the NHAI.

Another 240 cases are in courts with claims of Rs 21,600 crore.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.


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