MoRTH pares award target by 1,500 km

In a recent meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH) brought down the award target for the current year to 8,000 km from 9,500 km set in a June meeting with the Prime Minister.

"The ministry will try its best to award road projects as per the original targets for FY'12-13 and will certainly cross 8,000 km of awards this year by March, 2013," said a government release. The current target is lower than 8,800 km announced in the Budget.

In another significant decision, road secretary AK Upadhyay will send a note to the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) on treating loans to roads sector as secured loans. Currently, loans to road sector are treated unsecured, as revenues earned via tolls are not considered as collateral.

Meanwhile, the ministry has also written a letter to the finance ministry asking relaxation in the land acquisition norms by banks. Banks are currently asking for 100 per cent land acquisition before disbursing loans, while the ministry wants it to be reduced to 80 per cent.

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