Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways C. P. Joshi has said that the public-private partnership (PPP) model is essential to overcome budgetary constraints and help more roads be built to ease transport and inflation woes.
Joshi told media here yesterday that with private firms building highways, it was inevitable that they charge a toll from users.
"Roads are state subject. The states import certain taxes. So far as the PPP (public-private partnership) mode is concerned, when the concessionaire invests the money, then naturally he has to collect it. We decided to enter into the public-private partnership because we know the constraints, that the budget available will not be able to address the issue," he said.
Joshi also said the cooperation of state governments was essential to the success of the PPP model.
"If you want good roads and investment, then this is the programme we have. If the state government is not keen to have it, it should either come out and subsidise it, or give other suggestions," he said.
With a creaking rail network, India relies heavily on such highways to transport goods. But their often-shoddy condition saps the competitiveness of companies and creates supply bottlenecks that have helped keep inflation uncomfortably high.
Across India, poor infrastructure has put the brakes on the once-stellar growth of Asia's third-largest economy, which has dropped to its slowest pace in nine years, and businesses are clamouring for more policy action. (ANI)