Nitin Gadkari seek US help to build smart transport systems

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Washington, July 11 (IANS) India is seeking US cooperation in innovative technologies in Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) with its policy shift from ‘Build Roads’ to ‘Move in India’ with special emphasis on efficiency and improving logistics.

This will be high on the agenda of Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari when he meets US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx here on Monday.

He will also seek US cooperation in areas of project highways, material, equipment, tunnel projects, road safety initiatives and training institutes and equipment like training simulators.

Gadkari, according to an official accompanying him, will highlight the positive indicators contributing to the phenomenal revival of the roads and highways sector in India and brief Foxx about India’s leapfrog from Bharat Stage BSIV to BSVI emission norms by 2020.

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Indian government’s particular emphasis on promoting alternative fuels for vehicles, utmost priority to reducing CO2 emission, notification of fuel efficiency norms for cars and heavy vehicles will also figure prominently in Gadkari’s talks with his counterpart.

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

He is expected to invite US industries to explore business opportunities in India including potential for investment in project highways, Bharatmala projects, asset recycling through Transfer-Operate-Transfer (TOT) model, tunnel projects and Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS).

Gadkari will appraise potential US investors of the fiscal incentives the Narendra Modi government has offered for the infrastructure sector, including 100 percent FDI through automatic route.

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Other incentives include project land with ensured availability of right of way, capital grant up to 40 percent 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

There is also 100 percent tax exemption for 5 years and 30 percent relief for next 5 years, which may be availed of in 20 years and duty free import of specified modern high capacity construction equipment facilitated.

Gadkari has envisaged around $150 billion investments for the highways sector in the next five years with a range of projects to suit each investor’s risk and return expectations.

He will also give a talk Monday on “A window into India’s Infrastructure Development “organized by Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank.

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(Arun Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])

–IANS

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