NHAI to raise Rs 46k cr debt in 2-3 years

NHAI to raise Rs 46k cr debt in 2-3 years

With the view of part-financing the Rs 93,000 crore worth Delhi-Mumbai expressway (DME) project, a fully-owned special purpose vehicle (SPV) by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), is planning on raising Rs 46,000 crore via debt over the upcoming two or three years.

SS Sandhu, Chairman of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), told sources that the entire quantum of debt will be raised at the level of the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). Further, all the relevant borrowing will be off the NHAI’s balance sheet.

He further stated that the SPV requires borrowing slightly less than Rs 10,000 crore, but they have already received offers amounting to Rs 29,000 crore from financial institutions including banks. The chairman further said they would first wait to see who offers them the best rates and then make a decision accordingly.

For the 1,261 km expressway that is being built under the engineering procurement and construction (EPC) model, wherein the authority bears the entire expenditure, SPV-DME development has been set up. NHAI considered the idea of delivering project-specific SPVs earlier this year intending to diversify its resource base and develop an approach that is self-liquidating with the view of raising funds for these pivotal projects.

Per the proposed plan, the SPV will register the debt on its balance sheet. The NHAI, on the other hand, will be allowed to exercise operational control over the construction, operation, and maintenance of the project. NHAI has always been an accessory of the government concerning raising extra-budgetary resources reportedly had a debt of around Rs 2.28 lakh crore as of February 2020. The toll collections to be pocketed from both the existing Delhi-Mumbai stretch as well as the forthcoming expressway will be utilised in paying back the debt.

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