The National Highways Authority of India has set the target of awarding more than 6,000-km highway projects in the financial year 2020, said RK Pandey, member - projects, NHAI.
"We have changed our philosophy of awarding. It is not the question of award alone, we would like to implement the project at the earliest. We have decided, until and unless we have the land in our hand, we will not award. As a result, we could not award more than 2,200 km last year but this year, we are ready. Seeing our preparedness, we will be able to achieve 6,000 km this year," he said in an interview with CNBC-TV18.
In terms of budget expectations, he said, “Our whole concern is to reduce the cost of construction. For that, we expect that we should have something like tax exemption bonds, etc. or some kind of additional budgetary support to take up all those projects which are not financially viable or to that extent, the kind of support from the external funding agencies.”
On funding, Pandey said, “It comes from four-five sources — cess, toll, budgetary support, private sector participation and borrowing from the market. We plan it such a way that we are in a position to repay our loans.”
Based on internal analysis, NHAI can increase its debt by Rs 75,000 crore, he added.