Kamal Nath discusses investments, New Toll Technolgy and Intelligent Transport System in Japan

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The Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Shri Kamal Nath has invited the investors, contractors and concessionaries from Japan to invest in the Indian Highways Infrastructure program, the largest PPP road program in the world. Talking to the investors at Tokyo today, Shri Nath informed that 122 projects of a Road length of about 11,000 km worth USD 20 billion are to be awarded by June 2010. He also informed the investors and concessionaires about the vast potential in the expressways segment. He said, in addition to the National Highways Development Programme, the Ministry of Roads & Highways intends to undertake development of almost 17,000 km of Expressways in the country for which a separate Expressway Authority of India will be set up. He announced that over the next 6 months Expressway projects for 1,000 km are likely to be bid out. The Minister was speaking at the various investors meet organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Nomura Holdings and Daiwa Capital Markets in Tokyo today.

The Minister also met Mr. Seiji Maehara, Japanese Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. In the meeting, it was agreed to have a MoU to formalize the co-operation between India and Japan in the area of Road Transport and Highways infrastructure. It was also been agreed that under the MoU a Joint Working Group would be set up. Shri Kamal Nath also called on Mr. Masayuki Naoshima, the Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry.

During these meetings, Shri. Kamal Nath informed about the measures being taken to address concerns of Japanese Industry for providing road connectivity to Ports especially at Haldia and Ennore. One of the key opportunity areas discussed was installation of user friendly Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) and Intelligent Transport System (ITS) in India. Japanese cooperation was also sought to explore the feasibility of the Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link.

Earlier at the meeting with the Investors, the Shri Nath reasserted the commitment of the Government of India to reduce the infrastructure deficit in order to sustain a growth rate in excess of 9% in the coming years. He said, that the total investment in the National Highways Development Programme (NHDP) is estimated at USD 70 billion of which almost USD 40 billion investment is anticipated from the private sector. Private participation will be the key for the programme as almost 60% of the projects will be bid out on BOT basis. In addition, 25% of the projects will be on Annuity basis and remaining will be under EPC.

Elaborating on the consultation process being followed by the Ministry, he mentioned that based on the extensive consultations with the various stakeholders several decisions have been taken to create a more investor friendly policy framework.

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