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Gadkari sets road construction target for next two years at Rs 15 trillion

Directs officers to finalise auto scrapping policy quickly

Nitin Gadkari  | Coronavirus | Road construction

Megha Manchanda  |  New Delhi 

Nitin Gadkari
Gadkari said plans should be made keeping the bad times in mind while working for growth | (Source: Twitter/Nitin Gadkari)

Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways said on Thursday that his ministry has firmed up plans to execute Rs 15 trillion worth of national highway projects within the next two years.

He said the ministry is working on the vehicle scrapping policy, and is likely to announced it soon.

In his capacity as the MSME minister, he held a meeting via video conferencing with members of SIAM Institute on the impact of Covid-19 on auto sector.

During this interaction, the members expressed concerns about various challenges being faced by industry, apart from offering suggestions and requesting support from the government to keep the sector afloat.

Gadkari said plans should be made keeping the bad times in mind while working for growth. He added that industry should focus more on innovation, technology and research to become competitive in the global market.

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The minister said that he has set a target of constructing roads worth Rs 15 trillion in the next two years, and that his ministry is working overtime to clear all arbitration cases with concessionaires.

It is learnt that these projects worth Rs 15 trillion are part of the larger National Infrastructure Pipeline, which was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on December 31, 2019 and is aimed at executing infrastructure projects worth over Rs 100 trillion in five years.

The Centre and the states would have equal share of 39 per cent in the proposed NIP and private sector would have 22 per cent, which the government plans to increase to 30 per cent by 2025.

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Gadkari also said he had directed the ministry officials to finalise the auto scrapping policy quickly, and said, it will go a long way in cost reduction. He also suggested exploring cheaper credits including foreign capital for enhancing liquidity in the automobile manufacturing sector.

The proposed policy is aimed to create new demand stimulus in the auto sector which has been facing one of the worst slowdowns. On July 26, 2019, the government proposed amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act to allow scrapping of vehicles older than 15 years in a bid to speed up the adoption of electric vehicles.

First Published: Thu, May 07 2020. 18:42 IST