The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has put its plan to monetise operational publicly-funded highway projects on hold for two months, given that investors might not commit long-term investments at this juncture, due to uncertainty over toll collections.
This implies that the authority, which is facing funding constraints amid a prolonged sluggishness in private investments, might have to struggle to stick to the announced pace of highway awards and construction.
CRISIL Research wrote on Wednesday traffic on Indian highways could de-grow 16.5% this fiscal, which would cut toll collections by 13% in base case. “Consequently, toll collections and remittances from existing roads will fall a sharp 13% assuming there’s only a 57-day lockdown (from March 22 to May 17).
That decline will be an even sharper 17% if the lockdown is extended by another two weeks,” it wrote.