Poor market conditions and non-availability of debt with lending institutions were the prime reasons for lacklustre performance of the highways sector in the previous fiscal, the Parliament was informed on Thursday.

“In some projects, no bid was received and the reasons for not meeting the target include poor market sentiment, lack of equity with concessionaire, unavailability of debt with financial institutions etc,” Minister for State for Road Transport and Highways Tushar. A. Chaudhary informed the Rajya Sabha.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) awarded 1,116 km of projects as against a target of 8,100 km in the financial year 2012-13, he said.

This year the government has decided to award works on Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) along with BOT (Built-Operate-Transfer).

The target set in the current fiscal, under various schemes such as National Highways Development Project (NHDP), Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for North Eastern Region (SARDP-NE), and Left Wing Extremism (LWE) in naxal affected areas is 9,638 km for 2013-14 fiscal.

Earlier this week, the Cabinet Committee on Investment, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh cleared 36 infrastructure projects worth Rs. 1.83 lakh crore that were stalled due to various regulatory hurdles. These include 18 in the power sector, and 18 others in sectors like road, railways, petroleum and natural gas.

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