The Indian government on Friday approved a proposal to delegate more project approval authority to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
The government in a statement said the ministry has been authorized to clear highway projects requiring investment up to Rs. 500 crore (approximately $87 million) without prior approvals from various federal agencies.
“At present, projects of Rs.500 crore or above require investment approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, but projects below Rs. 500 crore have varying appraisal and approval levels, depending on the source of funding and mode of implementation of projects,” the government said.
The move is aimed at minimizing delays in implementing public-private partnership projects in the road infrastructure sector.
Following a setback in fiscal year 2012-13 when award of road projects declined to 1,201 miles, the ministry in April announced steps to accelerate the pace of award of road projects and set a target of 5,592 miles on national highways in the current fiscal year (2013-14).