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Govt to borrow $2bn more from World Bank for road proj: Nath

The government will seek an additional USD 2 billion loan from the World Bank for road development projects, Transport Minister Kamal Nath said on Monday.

New Delhi: The government will seek an
additional USD 2 billion loan from the World Bank for road
development projects, Transport Minister Kamal Nath said
on Monday.
"We are looking at further borrowing from the World Bank,
we have already posed a proposal for USD 3 billion and are
looking at an additional USD 2 billion for road projects
spread over the next 3-4 years," Nath told PTI emerging from a
meeting of an Empowered Group of Ministers for the road
The Ministry is also looking at various options to raise
Rs 3 lakh crore that would be invested in road developments
projects over financial year 2010-11, he said.

Nath had last week said that negotiations for the USD 3
billion loan from World Bank is "now in an advanced stage".

"We are looking at ways to finance Rs 3 lakh crore
investment for the next fiscal," Nath said.

In addition to this, the government, he said, is also
considering the options suggested by the B K Chaturvedi
committee to raise finances.

"We are looking at all the suggestions of the Chaturvedi
Committee for finances...we are evaluating which of them are
the easiest and the cheapest," he said.

The Committee, set up by the Prime Minister in August for
speeding up the road development programme, has recommended
issuing bonds with longer tenure, and availing a line of
credit from LIC and pension funds for raising finances.

The Ministry is looking at issuing new type of bonds and
raising money from banks for financing road projects, he said.

"We are also looking at long line of credit from the Life
Insurance Corporation (LIC)," Nath added.

Apart from all this, it is also looking at long term
sources of finance such as pension funds and insurance funds
for post construction risks like maintenance of roads.

"Post construction risks are being looked at by pension
funds and insurance funds," he said.

When asked about raising the investment cap on 54 EC
bonds that the NHAI issues to raise money, Nath said, "We are
looking at it."

NHAI, the nodal agency for implementation of the national
highways programme, issues 54 EC bonds with a lock in period
of three years and an investment cap of Rs 50 lakh for an
individual. In the past it has proposed raising this cap from
Rs 50 lakh to Rs 2 crore.

The EGoM for roads, that met for the first time today to
look at the financing plan for the sector, gave green signal
to preparations of Detailed Project Reports (DRR) and land
acquisition for about 12,000 km of road projects to be awarded
next year.

The next meeting of the EGoM will be called at a short
notice, where the financial plan for the next fiscal will be

The EGoM for roads comprises Finance Minister Pranab
Mukherjee, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh
Ahluwalia in addition to Kamal Nath.

The Transport Ministry has set a target of awarding about
11,800-km of road projects this fiscal and a similar number in
the next financial year.


From Zee News

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