India to Seek US Cooperation for Modernising Infrastructure

Lalit K Jha/Washington
India to Seek US Cooperation for Modernising Infrastructure

India will seek innovative technologies from the US for modernising the country's infrastructure during Union Minister Nitin Gadkari's meetings with top American officials and corporate leaders to attract billions of dollars in FDI in the crucial sector.

During his week-long visit, Gadkari will seek the US' cooperation in innovative technologies in highway projects, material, equipment, tunnel projects, intelligent transport systems (ITS), road safety initiatives and training institutes including equipment like training simulators, officials here said today.

On his maiden visit to the US in his capacity as Union Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, Gadkari will meet Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx tomorrow.

During the meeting, he is expected to highlight the positive indicators contributing to the "phenomenal revival" of the roads and highways sector in India and the government's policy shift from "Build Roads" to "Move in India" with special emphasis on efficient operations and network management for improving logistics efficiency, the officials said.

The Union Minister will also brief the US Secretary of Transportation about India's leapfrog to BSVI from BSIV which has been advanced to 2020, the official said.

Indian government's particular emphasis on promoting alternative fuels for vehicles, Ethanol blending programme and utmost priority to reducing CO2 emission, notification of fuel efficiency norms for cars and proposed notification of fuel efficiency norms for heavy vehicles by December 2016, will also figure prominently during the talks.

Gadkari is scheduled to engage the US infrastructure companies in a series of interactions organised by Indo-American Chambers, J P Morgan, Goldman Sachs and other business forums in Washington, New York and San Francisco.

During the interactions, he will invite US industries to explore business opportunities in India including potential for investment in project highways, Bharatmala projects, asset recycling through TOT Model, tunnel projects, intelligent transport systems (ITS) and through projects under the ToT model, the official said.

Gadkari will appraise the potential US investors of the fiscal incentives the government has offered for the infrastructure sector, including 100 per cent FDI through automatic route, project land i.E ensured availability of Right of Way, capital grant up to 40 per cent of project cost to enhance viability on a case to case basis provided by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and the government of India.

India has envisaged around USD 150 billion investments for the highways sector in the next five years with range of projects to suit each investor's risk and return expectations, the officials said.

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