Cabinet empowers road transport ministry to amend project agreement

New Delhi : The cabinet Wednesday approved a proposal to empower the road transport ministry to amend the model concession agreement (MCA) and the mode of project delivery, as per its requirements.

The decision was taken by the cabinet committee on economic affairs, which was chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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According to a statement: “Users of National Highways from all over the country will benefit due to expediting of implementation of road infrastructure projects in the country.”

“This will also help uplift the socio-economic condition of entire nation due to increased connectivity with far flung areas leading to increased economic activity.”

The CCEA took the decision to provide the road transport ministry with contract amend powers so that it can remove impediments pertaining to procedural complexities.

The CCEA statement said that against the ambitious target for award of 9,500 kms of road length for the financial year 2012-13, only 1116 kms could be awarded during the year by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and only 1,436 kms against the target of 4,030 kms for the year 2013-14.

“On analysis after consultations with all the stakeholders in the sector, it has been concluded that this shortfall is primarily attributable to an overall economic slowdown resulting in lack of availability of debt and equity in the market,” the statement further said.