Govt is Creating a Process For Small Investors to Invest in Road Projects: Nitin Gadkari
Union Road Transport and Highway Minister Nitin Gadkari said the government is formulating a new model through which small investors (retail) will be allowed to invest in infrastructure projects.
Speaking at the third edition of Roads and Highways Summit, organised by industry body FICCI, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said, “(The government) will soon list InvITs on the stock market so that retail investors can trade units (of InvITs), offering an opportunity to common citizens to invest in the infrastructure projects”.
The minister said the InvITs assure a 7 to 8 per cent return annually.
Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) are instruments on the pattern of mutual funds, designed to pool money from investors and invest in assets that will provide cash flows over a period of time.
The Minister noted the need to expand the national highway network as they carry about 70 per cent of the cargo and 90 per cent of the passenger traffic in the country.
Further, he highlighted that the total length of national highways at 1.47 lakh kilometres is just about 2.3 per cent of the overall road network and said, “before end 2024, we will take national highway network to two lakh kilometres.”
Minister Gadkari also noted logistics costs as a critical challenge to the country’s trade, exports and business. Current logistic costs in the country range from 14 to 16 per cent as opposed to 12 per cent in European nations and the US and around 8 – 10 per cent in China.
“My target is to take it to 10 per cent”, the Minister said and encouraged the industry to plan on adopting water transport.
“Our first priority is for waterways, second for railway, third road and fourth aviation”, he added, highlighting waterways as costing one-tenth of the road transport.
The Minister also alluded to alternative fuels like LNG, bio-ethanol and green hydrogen and said,” ethanol, methanol, biodiesel, bio-LNG, bio-CNG, electric and green hydrogen, the alternative fuels will substitute imports, (are) cost-effective, pollution-free and can save your (industry’s) logistic cost.”