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Gatishakti to create huge employment opportunities: Gadkari

Addressing a virtual event, he also said that toll collection has already crossed the pre-COVID level and NHAI will be able to collect about Rs 2 lakh crore as toll amount by 2025.

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Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said the ambitious Rs 100 lakh crore-Gatishakti programme for holistic and integrated infrastructure development will create huge employment opportunities.

Addressing a virtual event, he also said that toll collection has already crossed the pre-COVID level and NHAI will be able to collect about Rs 2 lakh crore as toll amount by 2025.

”Our government is soon going to launch the National Master Plan of Prime Minister’s ‘Gatishakti’. This scheme of more than 100 lakh crores rupees for holistic and integrated infrastructure development will create huge employment opportunities,” he said.

Gatishakti was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day speech on August 15. The initiative is set to be launched in September.

Gadkari said that he is sure that the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) programme will build reliability and confidence in developers and financing institutions as the identified projects are likely to be better prepared, exposure less likely to the risk given active project monitoring, management, and accountability.

Roads have the largest share in the NMP at 26 per cent.

Noting that toll collection has already crossed the pre-COVID level and is rising at a rapid rate, Gadkari said, ”with this trend, we will be able to collect about 2 lakh crore rupees as toll by 2025”.

Further, the minister said the National Highways Authority of India’s Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) is in the advanced stages of being launched and will target institutional investors.

”Once it is set up, NHAI will be able to monetise more roads through InvIT and raise funds from institutional investors,” he said.

With the large inventory of completed roads and those that will be returning to NHAI from BOT concessions, Gadkari said NHAI is planning to monetise these roads as a major source of funding to pare down debt as well as develop new roads.

”We are in the process of implementing the State Support Programme to incentivise the states/UTs with Rs 7,000 crore funds, out of which Rs 3,500 crore would be from an Asian development bank and World Bank, and balance Rs 3,500 crore from the central government to carry out road safety interventions,” he said.

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