The National Highways Authority plans to borrow up to Rs 2 lakh crore for financing its various highway projects by March 2031.

“The National Highways Authority’s (NHAI) estimated borrowing for the highway projects by 2030—31 is over Rs 1,90,000 crore. This will be both domestic as well as foreign borrowings to meet road development programmes based on the public—private partnership model,” Authority chairman Brijeshwar Singh told PTI here today.

This year the borrowing projections are pegged at Rs 7,700 crore, Singh said, adding the Authority requires loans up to Rs 20,000 crore per annum for another 20 years. It has some cash reserves and borrowings would be done mainly to meet the gaps, he added.

The Authority currently gets about Rs 8,000 crore through annual cess, while Rs 2,000 crore come through toll collection per year.

“This borrowing would be a mix of medium— and long—term loans, foreign and domestic borrowings and multilateral funding etc,” Singh said.

The ministry has fixed an ambitious target of building 20 km road very day resulting in huge fund requirement. The ministry plans to build 35,000-km of roads in five years.

According to the Authority, the country has the world’s second largest road network, aggregating over 3.34 million km, but national highways constitute only about 2 per cent at 74,000 km.

Road transport and highways minister Kamal Nath had in May said the country needed USD 60 billion over the next five years to build 35,000 km roads and the government envisaged USD 40 billion of this to come from the private sector. Within private investment, it was looking at USD 10 billion from foreign players.

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