Government support for road construction is expected to jump nearly 60 per cent next year to Rs 23,891.59 crore as the Centre prepares big plans on roads. According to the revised estimates, the government’s funding in the current year will be Rs 14,977 crore.
About 70 per cent of the Rs 8,31,701-crore outlay during 2017-18 for the road sector will, however, be met through internal and external resources, which include the ones of public-private partnerships (PPPs).
The Budget has estimated internal and extra-budgetary resources at Rs 59,279 crore for 2017-18.
This amount has been set aside for the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for financing highway construction projects under EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) and the hybrid-annuity model.
The government funds EPC projects fully and hybrid-annuity projects 40 per cent. The ministry needs more than Rs 1 lakh crore to meet the target of constructing 10,000 km in 2017-18. For this, it needs to mobilise additional resources either through the capital market or private investors under PPPs, according to Vikash Kumar Sharda, director (capital projects & infrastructure), PwC.
The pace of road construction in the country has gone up to 133 km per day in 2016-17, as against 73 km per day in 2013-14.
Out of budgetary resources, Rs 1,141.08 crore has been given for maintaining National Highways. The Public Works Departments of states, the Border Roads Organisation, the National Highways Authority of India and National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd will farm out jobs to agencies to execute road projects.
The government plans to encourage multi-modal transportation by synergising investment in the rail, road and port sectors and has earmarked Rs 3,96,135 crore for the infrastructure sector.