Ahmedabad: National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) plans to roll out the Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system pan-India from next year replacing the current cash tax payment method, a top official said here ahead of launch of its first-ever tax-free bonds issue of Rs 10,000 crore.

"ETC shall replace the current cash tax payment system on the toll booths, where people have to pay after every 60-70 km stretch," NHAI member Finance J N Singh said.

"It is expected to be rolled out next year. Like in any other developed country, RDIF technology-based ETC in India shall create a credit card for making payments," Singh said, adding preliminary preparations for the launch have been completed.

He was here to launch NHAI's first-ever tax-free bonds public issue which is opening from tomorrow till January 11, 2012.

The issue under tranche-I aggregates to Rs 5,000 crore with an option to retain over-subscription up to Rs 10,000 crore.

NHAI, which has mandate from GoI to raise Rs 10,000 crore through tax-free bonds, is likely to come out with a second such issue if the tranche-I issue is not fully subscribed.

"The interest income on these tax free bonds shall be fully exempted from tax," banker to the issue SBI Capital said.
The bonds having a face value of Rs 1,000, will have two maturity periods of 10 years and 15 years and would be listed on the BSE and the NSE.

The 10-year bonds will fetch 8.2 percent interest per annum, while the 15-year bonds offer 8.3 percent interest.

(Agencies)