New Delhi: The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Friday announced that it will launch its first ever tax-free bonds issue of Rs 10,000 crore on December 28. The interest on the bonds of 10-year period will be 8.20 percent while it will be 8.30 percent on bonds for 15-year period.

Making the announcement here on Friday, Road Transport Minister CP Joshi, said, “We were able to build 7300 kilometer of roads every year in the last two fiscal years and that is the reason the Finance Ministry has given us approval to issue tax free bonds.”

Joshi said the money raised from the bonds will be used to partly finance various National Highways projects under different government schemes.

NHAI Secretary AK Upadhaya said, “This year NHAI has started 33 new projects and 22 projects were awarded on premium basis and it has received Rs 19,000 crore from premium.”

Advisor to Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission, Gajendra Haldia said the government wants to double its investment in infrastructure projects and that is why NHAI has been allowed to issue bonds.

Member Finance NHAI, Jagdeep Narayan Singh, said one part of the money will be used in developing National Highway projects while another part will also be utilized for viability gap funding for BOT (build-operate-transfer) road contracts.

The public issue of the bond will open on December 28 and close on January 11, but in case of oversubscription it will be closed on December 30.

These bonds may also be traded in both BSE and NSE and there will be no locking period. The credit rating agencies like CRISIL, Care and Fitch have given the bonds triple A rating.

JPN/Bureau