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Last Updated : Jun 14, 2019 04:17 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Need a separate financial arm for roads sector: Nitin Gadkari

Gadkari said that there is a need to look at alternate sources of funding for infrastructure projects as securing finance from banks has become difficult.

Pramiti Lonkar @LonkarPramiti

Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said there is a need for a separate financial arm for the roads sector.


"While there are other provisions for funding, like the foreign investment initiative under the Finance Ministry, they are time consuming," he said.


He added that the roads and highways sector has contributed 1.75 to the GDP and more than Rs 17 lakh crore has been approved for the sector in the past five years.


Gadkari said that there is a need to look at alternate sources of funding for infrastructure projects as securing finance from banks has become difficult. He said that more than 400 projects were stalled when he assumed responsibility of roads and highways. He said that resolving these issues may have saved the banks from NPAs of nearly 3 lakh crore rupees.


Gadkari's portfolio also includes MSMEs and he announced that ban on corporates and private players in the MSME sector has been lifted to pave way for formation of 700 clusters.


He said that there is a need to move from import substitution to export oriented economy, adding that this could be achieved through growth of MSMEs. He cited the example of incense sticks that account for 4000 crore worth of imports which could be manufactured here. He also indicated that the World Bank has shown interest in SMEs.


Addressing industrialists at the CII National Council Meeting 2019, he said industrialists need to shift focus from urban areas and help build the rural and backward areas in India. He also urged the industry to set up skill centres to train manpower.


Gadkari announced that a new website will be launched next week called 'Bank of Ideas and Innovation', inviting ideas and suggestions from the public.



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First Published on Jun 14, 2019 01:48 pm
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