The success of the Centre's recently announced national monetisation pipeline (NMP) plan hinges critically on road assets, rating agency Crisil said on Monday.
The agency also said that the state-owned National Highways Authority of India's asset pool can generate 15 per cent of its potential funding needs over the next five fiscals.
Under the ambitious national asset monetisation plan, the government aims to generate Rs 1.6 lakh crore by monetising 26,700 km of four-lane and above national highways.
"Monetisation of road assets holds the key here, as it accounts for 27 per cent of the NMP in value terms," the rating agency said.
Crisil noted that the NHAI has greatly accelerated its pace of highway construction, from only 2,623 km in fiscal 2017 to 4,175 km in fiscal 2021.
"Successful monetisation of the roads pipeline of Rs 1.6 lakh crore is critical, as it could potentially meet 15 per cent of the NHAI's fund requirements over fiscal 2022 to 2026, compared with less than 5 per cent over fiscal 2017-2021," it said.
Crisil said given the ambitious targets under Bharatmala and the construction of high-value expressways, along with higher repayment of borrowings, the NHAI's fund requirements are expected to double to Rs 10 lakh crore over the next five years vis-a-vis the previous 5 years.
"If these funding requirements are met, we estimate that the NHAI could construct 25,000 km of national highways over fiscal 2022-2026, compared with 17,228 km over fiscal 2017- 2021," it added.
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