Relief expected to road infra majors in paying premiums

April 2013

The Union government may allow road construction companies, which have taken up highway projects, to restructure the payment of premium amount to be paid to it (the government). Hence infrastructure majors, including L&T, IRB, GVK and GMR, can expect relief in executing highway projects, which they have bagged by quoting high premium - upfront revenue to the government - a year ago.

The Union Highways Ministry would put forth a proposal before the Cabinet soon that would allow the companies to restructure the payment of premium amount. The Ministry is likely to push the proposal after the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) board has cited that big-ticket projects are not taking off due to changed market condition, where private developers are facing difficulty to raise equity.

If the proposal gets the government's nod, at least a dozen projects would benefit. All these projects were bagged by developers quoting over Rs 30 crore annual premiums. Recently, the NHAI board had considered the case of GMR to restructure the annual premium payment of Rs 636 crore to make the execution of Kishangarh-Udaipur-Ahmedabad project viable.