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Roads to be built by states: Nath seeks doubling of funds

June 19, 2009 16:43 IST

Targeting a four-fold increase in highway construction to 20 km per day, the road transport and highways ministry is seeking doubling the budgetary allocation for building roads that do not fall under the purview of the National Highways Authority of India.

"Transport minister Kamal Nath is seeking Rs 6,000 crore (Rs 60 billion) budgetary support from Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as compared to Rs 3,350 crore (Rs 33.5 billion) available (now)," an official source told PTI.

Besides projects under the NHAI, the government earmarks funds for constructing roads, undertaken by various state government agencies and municipal corporations. Nath will be seeking Rs 6,000 crore (Rs 60 billion) for this.

Nath, sources said, will also be pressing for including 'innovative funding' schemes in the Budget for boosting the country's roads infrastructure development.

The ministry is likely to pitch for setting up a Road Finance Corporation with an initial corpus of Rs 500 crore (Rs 5 billion) to provide easy financing options for the sector.

"The RFC is Nath's own idea and this will be among the major items on his wishlist for the Union Budget," another official said.

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