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Electronic toll gets a boost
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The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) has directed National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) in July 2019 to make all lanes of all NH toll plazas as FASTag lanes. Except one lane, only FASTag-based non-cash payment would be accepted in these lanes. Any vehicle not fitted with FASTag entering such lane would have to pay a 2X the toll fare. One of these FASTag lanes would be designated as a hybrid lane, accepting FASTag and other modes of payment and the same would be converted into a dedicated FASTag lane in a time-bound manner.

MORTH has given NHAI the responsibility of :
(1) ensuring handling any logistics and implementation issues (read law and order problems)
(2) providing civil and electronic infrastructure at toll plazas that are not currently having facilities for electronic toll collection.

Toll collections gone cashless would enhance the transparency of the business. This would enable both NHAI and toll companies to churn their investments at a faster pace. We note that a large 25% share in funding of NHAI’s Bharatmala programme expected to come from the monetization of NHAI’s assets and private sector investment. Indirect beneficiary from monetization of NHAI’s toll assets would be EPC companies since NHAI may start getting confident of selling incremental investments and thus focus on awarding EPC jobs. Road operators would also benefit from a faster turnaround of their trucks. While less clear, increased acceptance of RFIDs may give greater power to the government to monitor and curb instances of tax evasion. There was also a suggestion in June 2019 to link e-way GST mechanism bill with FASTag system of NHAI.

The new scheme of FASTag will be implemented from 1 Dec, 2019

 

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