Kamal Nath invites Canadian pension funds to invest in Indian highway project

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New Delhi, Mar 26 (ANI): Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Kamal Nath on Thursday invited the Canadian pension funds and financial institutions to participate in the National Highway Development Project (NHDP).

According to a statement issued by the ministry, during his ongoing visit to Canada, Kamal Nath held discussions with some of the leading long-term debt as well as equity investors.

Kamal Nath held discussions with Empire Financial Group, Aviva Investors, Aegon Capital Management Incorporation, Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board, Hospitals of Ontario Pension Plan, TD Asset Management Incorporation, Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, BMO Capital Markets, CI Investments, and RBC Global Investment Management etc.

The companies were forthcoming and showed keen interest in participating in the National highway projects, the statement said.

Informing about the funds requirements to achieve the target of constructing 20 kilometres of National Highways a day, Kamal Nath said it would require an investment of about 70 billion dollars.

The private sector will have a bigger role with about 45 billion dollars to be sourced from them, Kamal Nath said.

He added that this would not only help in bridging the huge infrastructure deficit but also aid in achieving the double-digit growth rate for the country.

Kamal Nath also addressed separate meetings of the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce, Canada-India Foundation, and Canada- India Business Council etc.

During his meetings Kamal Nath invited them to participate with greater vigour in the roads sector in India.

Kamal Nath also met the Ontario Premier McGuinty and discussed issues of mutual interest.

McGuinty assured Kamal Nath of taking the mutual partnership forward by exploring the possibility of participation of the pension funds under the Ontario Government such as Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board, and Hospitals of Ontario Pension Plan in India.

Kamal Nath also interacted with prominent investors in separate meetings organised by the Ministry for Economic Development and Trade, Ontario which was also attended by Kathleen Wynne, the Minister of Transportation, Ontario.

According to the Ministry, during these interactions, the representatives of various financial institutions appreciated some of the recent steps taken by the Indian Government such as modifications in the MCA especially with regard to termination clause and introduction of an exit clause.

They also appreciated efforts taken by the government in addressing most of the concerns regarding procedural impediments, and making the policy framework and contractual documents more investor friendly.

Kamal Nath reiterated India's commitment to ensure enforcement of obligations in accordance with the established legal and institutional framework.

He highlighted the massive opportunity for Canadian investors as 60 percent of the Highway Projects are being undertaken on BOT (Toll) and 25 percent on BOT(Annuity) , and invited the private entities to come forward and become a partner in propelling one of the fastest growing engines of global economy. (ANI)

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