Parliament panel calls on NHAI to explore debt restructuring and raise long-term funds

Expressing dissatisfaction with the massive debt servicing the debt of 97,115 crore rupees of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), a parliamentary criminal asked the authority to explore existing debt restructuring and look for options for long-term fundraising.

The ministry-linked Standing Parliamentary Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, in its report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, also called on NHAI to prioritize its delayed road projects.

“The committee is saddened to see the enormous responsibility for servicing the debt of NHAI in the years to come,” said the 31-member panel chaired by TG Venkatesh, highlighting the liability for servicing the debt of Rs 38,997 crore. for 2021-22, Rs 28,800 crore for 2022-23 and Rs 29,318 crore for 2023-24.

The committee notes that the NHAI’s debt service liability for the next three years is even higher than the estimates that the ministry provided to the committee during its review of the ministry’s grant applications (2020-2021). he declared.

“The Committee recommends that NHAI may prioritize the completion of its delayed road projects to avoid further escalation of costs in such projects. The Committee further recommends that NHAI explore the restructuring of its existing debt and prepare proposals for raising long-term funds in the financial institution announced in the budget speech (2021-22), “the report said.

The Minister of Finance, Nirmala Sitharaman, during the presentation of the budget on February 1, 2021, announced that a sum of Rs 20,000 crore had been provisioned in the budget to capitalize a development financial institution (DFI).

“The ambition is to have a loan portfolio of at least Rs 5 lakh crore for this DFI in three years,” she said, adding that a bill would be presented to set up the DFI which will act as a supplier, catalyst and catalyst. for the financing of infrastructure.

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