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Achievements

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ACHIEVEMENTS BY NHBF

1. COVID Relief

Several COVID Relief measures have also been announced by the Govt at the behest of NHBF, called Atmanirbhar Bharat and endorsed by NHAI/NHIDCL. Recently MoRTH agreed to NHBF request for extension of COVID relief & given further extension for 5 months till 31.03.2023.


2. Toll Compensation

(a) To ensure seamless implementation of the decision of Government of India for demonetization of currency notes in the denomination of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 not being valid legal tender w.e.f. 9th November, 2016, it was decided to suspend toll collection on National Highways (NHs) from 9th November, 2016 onwards till the mid-night of 2nd / 3rd December 2016. After protracted correspondence, the Govt. decided that the loss on account of the non-collection of toll during this period at the toll plazas on NHs across the country requires to be addressed as per the provisions in the respective Concessionaire/Contract documents that define the engagement of Authority/ MoRTH with such entities.

(b) Similarly at request of NHBF, certain portion of toll loss due to Farmer’s Agitation has also been compensated.


3. Payment of Arbitration Awards

(a) Pursuant to the decisions taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for revival of the Construction Sector, the NITI Aayog had issued OM No. 14070/14/2016- PPPAU dated 5th September 2016 titled “Measures to revive the Construction Sector – reg.” containing the decisions for implementation by all the concerned Ministries/ Departments / PSUs. As per the decision taken by the CCEA, cases where the Arbitration Tribunals have passed orders in favour of the Contractors/Concessionaires in arbitral proceedings and such awards/orders have been further challenged by the government agencies in courts of law, all the works executing agencies are required to pay an amount equal to 75% of the total pay-out (i.e. Arbitral Award amount including the interest payable as per such Award, if any ) should be released to the Contractors/Concessionaires against a Bank Guarantee without prejudice to the rights and stand of the Agency and subject to the final order of the court in the matter under challenge. The OM further stipulates that in case the matter under legal challenge is decided in favour of the works executing agency, it would be entitled to recover the said amount along with appropriate interest.

(b) In October 2021, Ministry of Finance have now incorporated above issues in General Finance Rules.


4. Society for Affordable Redressal of Disputes (SAROD) & DRB (Dispute Resolution Board)

(a) This Society has been formed jointly by NHAI and NHBF and is operationalised with the empanelment of arbitrators on the basis of recommendations from member companies and NHAI who are agreeable to follow the rules and regulation of SAROD. This Society is governed by a Governing Body consisting of members from NHAI & NHBF. Additionally it has been decided by SAROD, Governing Body that Arbitration Meetings can also be held at nearby Welcome Hotel in Dwarka within the laid down parameters of venue costing. The fees for Arbitrators has been enhanced to @ Rs.50,000/- per hearing which is at par with NHAI Fee Schedule applicable to their Ad hoc Arbitrators. NHBF representative (Sh. Shashank Shekhar of M/s. KMC) has been included in the Governing Body. Similarly NHBF rep is also included in the Committee for deciding fresh empanelment/renewal of Arbitration panel, Arbitration panel i.e. Col. Alam (Retd.) of M/s. Ashoka Buildcon.

(b) At the request of NHBF, NHAI would consider adding to existing list of DRB members from amongst suitable retd. Engineers.


5. Formation of Company namely M/s. Indian Highways Management Company Ltd.

NHBF is closely associated with this company which is managing the Electronic Toll Collection at Toll Plazas maintained by NHAI as well as by the Concessionaires. This activity will further enhance on Toll Plazas established by various State Governments on State Highway System. In addition, its responsibilities also include target of 100% ETC Toll lanes, Establishment and Maintenance of Wayside Amenities and Corridor Plantation as a part of Green Highway System. Proper Dispute Resolution Mechanism has been introduced for our Concessionaires about their dues from Banks etc. NHBF is represented by two Directors of Companies who are stake holders of IHMCL.


6. Construction Skill Development Council

(a) NHBF is also associated with Skill Development of workers employed in Highway sector. It has been decided by MoRTH that IAHE would be the Nodal Agency for Skill Development in road sector. A total of 20,000 highways construction workers are to be trained in various trades at project sites, ITIs & IAHE and a stipend of Rs.15000/- per person, would be paid by Govt. to compensate for loss of wages during training period. Our members are providing support to CSDC for Industry Endorsements/Validation of various trades in Road Construction sector. Two of our Co’s reps represent NHBF in CSDC Governing Body.

(b) IAHE has intimated that they are willing to accommodate any participants from our members Cos. to be part of regular courses run by them for all i.e. NHAI/MORTH/State PWD. We circulate all the Training Programmes details received from IAHE to all our members.


7. GST

(a) Vigorous efforts have been made with NHAI/MoRTH and Ministry of Finance to minimize the burden of new GST regime on the Road Sector. The GST rate has been reduced from 18% to 12%. Due to our insistence, detailed Policy Circulars have been issued by NHAI laying down various procedures of GST payments. Due to NHBF persistence, NHAI has issued SOP for GST issues in respect of EPC & HAM Projects and such clarifications for BOT Projects have also been issued. Pre-GST issues Policy Circulars and Amendments were issued by NHAI thrice, due to amendments suggested at our request.

(b) Recently NHAI has agreed to our representation for change of rate of GST from 18% to 12 % for EPC Projects.


8. Surety Bond

New feature of Financial Security introduced by Ministry of RTH as Surety Bond by Insurance Companies. Surety bonds can also represent alternative to Bank Guarantees.


9. Miscellaneous Issues

(a) While dealing with Govt Authorities the list of challenges can be never ending e.g. our fight, tooth & nail, about NHAI “Alleged Defaulters List” or the Pricing Mechanism of ETC Toll items and W.P.I Linking Factor. Thus, there is obvious need for vigorous continuance of common platform to raise our concerns.

(b) Now, NHAI has issued detailed Policy Circulars for timely clearance of Bills/Claims of Contractors/Concessionaires.

(c) All NHAI Policy Circulars, on their Library website are now accessed by NHBF also and easily disseminated to all our members Cos.

(d) During last one year, four Additional Members Cos. have been added in NHBF Members’ List i.e. M/s. KCC Buildcon Pvt. Ltd. M/s. Ravi Infrabuild Projects Pvt. Ltd. M/s. MKC Infrastructure Limited M/s. RKC Infrabuilt Pvt. Ltd.