Work being carried out at the excavation site of Coastal Road Project
Work being carried out at the excavation site of Coastal Road Project

Maharashtra Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, on Sunday, approved the Public Works Department’s proposal to raise a debt of Rs 15,000 crore at an interest rate as low as 1% to 1.5% for the construction of roads and clear the backlog in the state. Public Works Minister Ashok Chavan had mooted the proposal last month. After receiving opinions from various departments, including the Finance and Planning Departments, the cabinet sanctioned it today.

A Maha Vikas Aghadi minister told the Free Press Journal, “The cabinet today gave its nod for raising Rs 15,000 crore to build roads and clear pending projects. The long term loan from the Asian Development Bank will be at a nominal rate of interest of 1% to 1.5%.”

In addition, the Public Works Department proposes to raise funds through asset monetisation. Last year, the fund allocation for roads was 30% to 40% due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This year, the department is expecting higher allocation in the annual budget for 2021-22 to be presented by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Monday.

Chavan had earlier told the state legislature that roads in the state were in bad condition and a grid of such routes would be formed to carry out repairs. He had stated that funds for the grid of the roads to be taken up for repairs will be raised through the Asian Development Bank.

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