Intending to facilitate investment in the roads & highways sector, the state-owned builder of expressways under the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is in the process of setting up an infrastructure investment trust (InvIT).
As part of the proposed structure, a new company is being set up to act as the investment manager to the proposed InvIT.
In a statement issued on Thursday, MoRTH said that as the InvIT would be the first such trust to be sponsored by any government or semi-government entity in the country, it was “important to have a professional management structure for the investment manager”.
To attract the best talent from the market for the appointment of two independent directors and one chairman for the investment management board, a search-cum-selection committee has been constituted.
Dr. Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, Chairman, NHAI is the convenor of the committee. Other members include Deepak Parekh, Chairman, Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC), Girish Chandra Chaturvedi, Chairman, ICICI Bank and Sanjay Mitra, former Secretary, MoRTH.
The idea behind the move is to set up a competent entity of experts that can professionally run the infrastructure trust to mobilise resources from the market for monetising completed highway projects of NHAI.
The nationwide lockdown from March 24 led to the suspension of work on road & highway projects across the country. As the delay has deepened the crisis of funding shortfall at road developers, it makes sense for NHAI to actively pursue alternative sources of financing like InvITs.