nhai: NHAI downsizes toll-operate-transfer-4 bid by Rs 2,000 crore

Economy


NEW DELHI: The government has downsized its fourth bid for monetisation of toll assets by around Rs 2,000 crore as it seeks to attract smaller investors that will help monetise assets faster. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had invited bids for the fourth round of toll-operate-transfer (TOT) auctions in October last year to raise Rs 4,170 crore, with a total of seven road stretches having a cumulative length of 400 km.

The authority has now downsized the package, reducing the initial estimated concession value (IECV)—the base price of the bid—to Rs 2,165 crore. The concession period of the bundle has now been reduced to 20 years.

“We have reduced the size of TOT-4 since we are trying to test smaller bundles,” a government official told ET. Bids for TOT-4 are due in February.

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One road stretch in Maharashtra has also been removed from the initial package, as a result of which the total size of the reworked bundle has come down to 341.6 km. Road stretches in TOT-4 are spread across Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

Change-of-Plans

The development follows a recent cabinet nod to NHAI for changes in the TOT model. Among major changes, NHAI now exercises flexibility to vary the concession period of toll projects between 15 and 30 years, instead of 30 years earlier. Roads can now be monetised one year from the commencement of operations instead of two years earlier.

The TOT model was introduced in 2016 to monetise publicly-funded highways, where investors could make a one-time lump-sum payment in return for toll collection rights of 30 years under this model.

The flexibility in concession period is aimed at attracting a wider range of investors. The authority is expected to offer 15,000 km of road stretches for monetisation by 2024-25.

ET-reported on November 22 that NHAI was looking at smaller TOT bundles to afford itself a larger pool of recyclable assets to choose from.

TOT-5 is also likely to be in the range of Rs 2,500 crore, a second official said.



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