World Bank agrees to up funds for highways: Nath

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 - 16:52

New Delhi: The World Bank has agreed to look
at newer ways to raise its funding commitment for the
highways projects, Road Transport and Highways Minister Kamal
Nath after meeting the Bank chief Robert Zoellick said here
today.

"The World Bank has agreed to look at funding viability
gap and in the annuity projects not only in terms of financing
but in terms of institutional support as well," he said.

The ministry is seeking a USD 2.96-billion World Bank
funding for double-laning of 6,300 km of single-lane highways,
out of a total of about 19,000 km single-lane highways in the
country.

"We are also working with the Ministry of Finance for a
USD 2.96-billion for converting 6,300 km one-lane roads into
two-lane ones. That is now in an advanced stage," Nath said,
adding however the USD 3 billion may be provided in tranches
and the Finance Ministry will take a final call on this since
there are many projects to be financed by the Bank.

"There are so many projects on the social sector...so we
may take it in tranches. But the World Bank has to look at it
wholistically...there is a limit to what the Bank can give to
us as a whole. That appropriation is done by the Finance
Ministry," he said.
Under the viability gap scheme funds and concessions are
provided to the developers to make the projects viable while
annuity is a financing model where the developer finances,
builds and maintains the highways contract in exchange of
annual grants by the government.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 - 16:52

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