The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) plans to release Rs 6,000 crore to developers stuck in litigation under the new policy announced. This measure is expected to help banks recover some stuck loans while also providing funds for stalled projects. The government has asked its departments and ministries along with public sector entities to release 75 per cent of disputed amount where the developer or concessionaire has won an arbitration case.
At present, 123 dispute cases worth Rs 25,000 crore are pending with NHAI, including cases worth Rs 13,000 crore awarded in favour of private parties. An NHAI official has reportedly mentioned that in overall cases that have gone against the authority till date, the amount has been Rs 13,000 crore; and that it has already amicably settled claims worth Rs 5,000 crore. So, 75 per cent of the remaining Rs 8,000 crore that has to be released under the new guidelines works out to be Rs 6,000 crore. NHAI will start paying that amount on case by case basis, according to reports. The claims are related to around 20 companies.
The payment process will be initiated as soon as the private party sends NHAI a letter. This will be dependent on the private party as it needs to have a bank guarantee to back up the award claim. Further, the official reportedly mentioned that NHAI is also revising its agreement format so that the company doesn't back out from bank guarantee.