Signals mixed on Recovery Road
Traffic is crawling back and with it, the recovery prospects of the roads sector. July 2020
As reported, the provision for the advance will be extended to all highway projects executed with 100 per cent government funding or EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction) contracts as well as for projects under the Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM) mode. For contracts under the EPC model, the government releases the entire payment as and when a builder achieves the project milestones during construction. In the case of projects under the HAM mode, government agencies pay only 40 per cent of the cost during construction in five equal instalments. The remaining amount is released in 30 biannual instalments, which commences six months after the project is completed. As per a circular released by MoRTH on the norms relaxed, contractors availing this advance payment will have to pay the interest when the final payment is released, once the set milestone is achieved. For instance, NHAI or any other road owning agency can give the interest bearing working capital advance to the road builder even if it has completed only 5 km of a highway stretch against the set milestone of 10 km for release of payment.