Nitin Gadkari says govt will tap capital markets to fund road projects
Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has said that the government will utilize funds from capital market so as to fund the country's road projects, and that despite global recession fears, there won't be any issue in funding these infrastructure projects. "But, I don't want to use the finances of rich people. I am going to share market, and there I am going to take investments from small people," he said while speaking at an event in New Delhi.
When asked if elevated crude price will be a threat to NHAI's capex funds as it may increase the chances of cess reduction on petrol this fiscal, Gadkari said that the finance ministry will look into this. Major chunk of budget outlay for NHAI is expected to come from the central road and infrastructure fund (CRIF), funds into which the government's petrol and diesel cess flows.
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He further said that the construction equipment industry's size is ₹50,000 crore, but the sector is facing issues due to rising crude oil prices. He urged construction equipment manufacturers, saying, “Because of high diesel prices, we are facing an economic viable problem...as early as, get rid of diesel, it is a hazardous fuel." He added that the government aims to encourage alternative fuels such as methanol, ethanol and green hydrogen.
Speaking about electric mobility and its future, Gadkari added that the market share of Indian automobile companies has increased and that of foreign automobile companies has decreased as some Indian firms have started making electric vehicles.
The minister, while addressing the gathering, also told construction equipment manufacturers to concentrate on fuel efficiency and that without economic viability technology is not useful. He also emphasised on skilled manpower, appropriate training and road safety for long-term planning.
(with inputs from PTI)