Farmers’ stir: NHAI needs to shell out Rs 500 crore to compensate for BOT operators’ toll loss: ICRA

Ratings agency ICRA on July 15 estimated that the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) would end up paying Rs 450-500 crore to farmers’ agitation-hit BOT-Toll project operators, as part of its decision to pay 75 percent of the total compensation sought by them.

The amount to be disbursed by NHAI would provide a liquidity breather for the projects, ICRA said, adding that it would cover around 40-45 percent of loss of revenue incurred due to the agrarian protest.

The cumulative loss since the start of protests in October up to June 30 is estimated at Rs 1,600 crore with Rs 1,200 crore for BOT-toll projects and remaining for public-funded projects, ICRA said in its report. NHAI would be reimbursing the compensation after adjusting for insurance cover, ICRA’s Co-Group Head & Vice President, Corporate Ratings, Rajeshwar Burla said.

The NHAI’s initiatives will also help in reducing the cash conversion cycle while also getting the performance guarantees and associated margin monies released for the executed portion of the projects, Burla added.

The NHAI earlier this month said that it would consider the farmers’ protest against the new Farm Bills a force majeure event.

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