By Rahul Kamat
The road sector has some bad news in the offing. Private players, who are eagerly awaiting a Road Regulator, since a year, have to extend their prolonged wait for another six months.
It was expected that by March end, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways would pass a note on draft Regulatory Authority for Highways in India Bill, 2013 to the Cabinet. However, with the model code of conduct in place due to upcoming Lok Sabha election, the Cabinet is likely to give a “pass” to this important bill.
Speaking with Infrastructure Today, Tushar Chaudhary, Minister of State, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, said “Due to the model code of conduct in place, we will not be able to circulate the note on this Bill in the Cabinet”.
Since the structure of the proposed Regulatory Authority for Highways in India is yet to be finalised, actual constitution of regulator could take time.
S Nandakumar, Senior Director - Global, Infrastructure & Project Finance, India Ratings, said “Next steps are likely only after the conclusion of the upcoming elections.” He further added: “If implemented successfully, the regulatory body could help in managing friction between the government and private player in better way.”