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Road Ministry considers levying commission on petrol, diesel sold on expressways

Mamuni Das New Delhi | Updated on July 09, 2019 Published on July 09, 2019

Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport Highways and MSME

 

The Road Transport and Highways Ministry is considering a plan to raise money from fuel stations located along the expressways by levying a commission on every litre of petrol or diesel sold.

The move comes after the road sector lost its exclusive rights to use the erstwhile road cess (which is now known as the road and infrastructure cess) at a time when it faces the daunting task of building roads under the Bharatmala project, the cost of which run into several crores.

“We have to implement Bharatmala Phase-I of 24,000 km, on which we are spending Rs 7.5 lakh crore. For that, we do not have any budgetary provision for this. Our budgetary support surely has increased from about Rs 78,000 crore to about Rs 83,000 crore. This will be used for land acquisition,” Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport Highways and MSME, said in a conference on Monday.

The Finance Ministry has put its confidence in us -- Road Ministry - when it feels we can implement sanctioned projects of Rs 7.5 lakh crore without any provision from budget, said Gadkari.

“Express highways of four-six lane will give good returns as the traffic goes up. For the Delhi-Mumbai expressway, I have proposed that we can give land for setting up petrol pumps along the expressways, and invite tenders based on the extent of commission they will pay to us per litre,” the Minister said.

‘NHAI should get some returns’

Gadkari added, “I feel NHAI should get some returns from everything located along the roads constructed – from using toilets to setting up hotels and restaurants."

In fact, BusinessLine has learnt from other sources that earlier National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had considered levying a certain amount on CNG sold for vehicles -- as more and more vehicles that use the roads start using gas or alternative modes of fuel. Many vehicles in the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) -- including cars, cabs, and buses use CNG as a fuel, which is cleaner and greener than diesel.

NHAI hopes to mobilise Rs 75,000 crore this year, as against Rs 61,000 crore last year. The funds will be routed to construct various highway projects including Bharatmala.

In this context, NHAI and the National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which will allow NIIF to route international funds to NHAI. As per the broad contours, the two organisations will form a special purpose vehicle, through which NIIF will route funds to specific projects of NHAI.

Published on July 09, 2019

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