• Toll tax on national highways may be here for next 30 years

    Minister of Road Transport and Highways has proposed that a bulk of the money required for construction, especially the Bharatmala project, be raised through monetisation of public funded national highways projects, according to a report in The Indian Express.
    The proposal, which is likely to be approved by the union cabinet is about putting 75 projects, constructed by NHAI using public money on auction for bidding by private firms.
    Private operators would be offered the toll collection rights for next 25-30 years in lieu of a lump sum payment to the government. The proposal, if implemented is expected mop up of about Rs 80,000 crore, the report said.
    The projects identified for this purpose under the model called Toll-Operate-Transfer (TOT) have been in operation for at least two years and currently generate toll of Rs 2,700 crore per year.
    The idea behind this is to generate immediate resources while ensuring that operation and maintenance of constructed highways is more efficient. The private sector is also better in terms of toll collection, the report said quoting a government source.
    Last month, the government had announced that about Rs 7 lakh crore would be spent to develop around 50,000 kilometres of national highways over the next five years. Sebastian Aho Authentic Jersey

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