NEW DELHI: The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has chalked out ambitious fundraising plans worth over Rs 15000 crore in the last four months of the current financial year (FY’24).
The exercise is essentially to pare NHAI’s debt and meet its capex requirements.
It is learnt that this target will be met through multiple modes including InvIT bundles and bond issue.
“Two tranches of InvIT (third and fourth) and a bond issue will be closed by the end of this fiscal,” an official told ET Infra.
Third InvIT bundle that aims to raise Rs 9000 crore will come out next month and close on the heels of the third tranche, fourth bundle will be brought in the market, by March 2024.
NHAI intends to raise Rs 6000 crore from the fourth InvIT offering and around Rs 1000-1500 crore via bond issue.
InvITs or Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) are instruments under the road monetization plan of NHAI, under which road assets are placed and the investors can put in money and the income generated from these assets is paid as dividend.
The bonds will give a return of 8.5%, same as NHAI’s last bond issue.
This exercise will help NHAI in deleveraging its balance sheet as its outstanding debt stands at Rs 3.48 lakh crore, as on September 30 2023.
In the Union Budget 2023-24 NHAI has been allocated Rs 1.62 lakh crore, 15% more than the revised estimates for 2022-23.
NHAI’s debt has been a cause of concern for the government, which led to the NITI Aayog ordering an evaluation of the same, earlier this year.
The government think tank said that the reason for seeking evaluation was NHAI’s increasing debt servicing burden, contingent liabilities, dependence on government budgetary support and ambitious highway and infrastructure plan.
Experts feel that the asset monetization exercise started by the authority will start giving results in the next 15-20 years and hence NHAI has set an internal target of FY 2049-50 to complete deleveraging its balance sheet.