NHAI to put existing highway projects under infrastructure investment trust

Source: Business Standard, Sept 17, 2019

The government is finalising a list of functional national highway projects that would be placed under infrastructure investment trust (InvIT) to be offered to potential investors.

It is learnt that the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) would prefer brown-field projects over greenfield contracts for InvIT. The reason being that the former is less risky, as opposed to the latter, because the construction work is complete and the traffic potential is easier to gauge as against the new projects, which are yet to begin construction.

“The projects that are being considered for the InvIT structure comprise nearly 80 per cent brownfield (or existing projects) and around 20 per cent greenfield (or new) alignments,” an official said, adding that completely new projects are at a higher risk due to long term traffic projections. Read the rest of this entry »

Infra companies seek more time to evaluate 3rd bundle of toll-operate-transfer highway projects

Source: The Economic Times, Sept 12, 2019

NEW DELHI: Leading infrastructure investors including Cube Highways, Macquarie Group, IRB Infrastructure and Larsen & Toubro (L&T) have sought more time for evaluating the highways ministry’s third bundle of toll-operate-transfer (TOT) projects, officials aware of the matter said.

National Highways Authority of India invited bids for nine national highway stretches for a cumulative length of 566 km on June 13 in its third round of TOT auctions. The projects are spread across Bihar, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, with a base value of around Rs 4,995 crore. Read the rest of this entry »

New norms likely for BoT road projects to lure private investors

Source: The Economic Times, Sept 10, 2019

NEW DELHI: The government is planning to issue a set of guidelines for allocating road projects on Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis that will ensure a certain level of preparedness before awarding projects as it looks to revive private investment in the sector.

Apart from making changes in the concession agreement and exit clauses, among others, the ministry of road transport and highways will firm up the guidelines to ensure risks are largely eliminated to revive the mode of project construction, a government official aware of the matter told ET. Read the rest of this entry »

Government to commission Rs 5,00,000 crore road projects in next three months

Source: Financial Express, Sept 06, 2019

New Delhi: To boost demand for commercial vehicles, the government will commission 68 road construction projects worth Rs 5 lakh crore in the next three months, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday, while reiterating that petrol and diesel-engine vehicles will not be banned even as the country’s huge crude oil import and inflated levels of pollution remain a concern.

Speaking at the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) conclave, the minister of road transport and highways said the road projects will generate demand for construction equipment and heavy commercial vehicles, sales of which has remained subdued for the past eight to nine months. Commercial vehicle sales plunged by a massive 40% y-o-y in August, the eighth consecutive month of fall, impacted by the revised axle-load norms and halt in several infrastructure projects. Read the rest of this entry »

Inter-ministerial panel to select infra projects for Rs 100 lakh crore investment: FM

Source: The Economic Times, Aug 23, 2019

New Delhi: The government on Friday said it will set up an inter-ministerial task force to shortlist infrastructure projects for its ambitious target of spending Rs 100 lakh crore in the sector. Announcing a raft of measures to boost the economy, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the issue of delayed payments from central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) to project developers will be monitored by the Department of Expenditure and the entire process will be reviewed by the Cabinet Secretariat.

Regarding contractual disputes by government/CPSEs, the government has decided to pay 75 per cent of the due upfront, provided arbitration is in favour of the claimant. Read the rest of this entry »

GIP eyes up to $1 billion corpus for India-focused infra fund

Source: LiveMint.com, Aug 18, 2019

New York-based infrastructure fund manager Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) has initiated talks to raise a India-focused infrastructure fund with a targeted corpus of as much as $1 billion, said two people aware of the development.

GIP entered India last year after acquiring the infrastructure investment platform of IDFC Alternatives. Prior to the acquisition, IDFC Alternatives had raised two infrastructure funds—India Infrastructure Fund and India Infrastructure Fund II—aggregating $1.8 billion.

“GIP has initiated a soft launch of the fund and has started speaking with a few limited partners (LPs, investors in a private equity fund). They are aiming to raise around $1 billion,” said the first person cited above, requesting anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to reporters. “The fund will largely focus on acquiring operating assets in areas such as roads, renewables and transmission but could also look to invest in other infrastructure assets.” Read the rest of this entry »

ADB to provide $200 million for all-weather rural road project in Maharashtra

Source: Financial Express, Aug 08, 2019

Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday said it has approved a USD 200 million loan for improving road infrastructure in 34 districts of Maharashtra to better connect rural areas with markets and services. Roads in rural areas would be upgraded to all-weather standards which will boost links between local residents and economic centres across the state, the ADB said.

It highlighted that Maharashtra accounted for almost 15 per cent of the gross domestic product in 2016-17. However, economic development is concentrated around the urban centres of Mumbai, Pune, and Thane. About 20 million people, or 17 per cent of the state’s population, still live below the national poverty line, while in some districts — particularly in rural areas — it is as high as 40 per cent, it said. Read the rest of this entry »