The government is planning to build highways worth Rs 15 lakh crore in the next two years, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday. The road transport, highways and MSME minister also said that the auto scrapping policy is likely to be finalised soon.
In a video conference with the members of SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers) Institute over the impact of COVID-19 on the automobile sector, the minister suggested focusing on enhancing liquidity in business, as ups and downs are common.
He stressed that one needs to plan for bad times while working for growth and added that the industry should focus more on innovation, technology and research skill to become competitive in the global market. "I have set a target of constructing roads worth Rs 15 lakh crore in the next two years," Gadkari said, adding that his ministry is working overtime to clear all arbitration cases with concessionaires.
The minister informed that he has directed the ministry officials to finalise the auto scrapping policy quickly, and said it will go a long way in cost reduction. He also suggested exploring cheaper credits, including foreign capital for enhancing liquidity in the automobile manufacturing sector.
On the question of BS-IV vehicles, he said the government is bound by the Supreme Court verdict on the same. However, on industry suggestion, he will get the matter examined afresh. Regarding relaxations sought on other regulations, Gadkari stated that he will endeavour to provide relief wherever possible where the industry is seeking an extension of time.
Gadkari responded to the questions from representatives and assured all possible help from the government. He informed that he would take up the issues at the appropriate level in the government and other departments. The video conference was also attended by the Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways VK Singh and Secretary, Road Transport and Highways Giridhar Aramane, among other senior officials.
During this interaction, members expressed concerns regarding various challenges being faced by an industry amid COVID-19 pandemic along with few suggestions and requested support from the government to keep the sector afloat.