Ministry of Road Transport and Highways releases a sum of Rs. 10,339 crores during the COVID-19 period. This was under the simplified payment process under the ambitious AtmaNirbhar Bharat scheme. Another sum of Rs. 2475 crores are under process and will be released soon.
The Government has taken various steps to ensure the ease of doing business. This will also boost stakeholder’s confidence in building quality road infrastructure in the country. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has also simplified the payment process under the AtmaNirbhar Bharat scheme. The payment of contractors now is on a monthly basis instead of an earlier Milestone achievement basis. This is very beneficial in the timely completion of National Highways projects in the country.
There is also an extension in the number of relief packages for the contractors by the Ministry. Retention money is being released in proportion to the work already executed in accordance with the Contract specification. There is also relaxation in Schedule H to provide payment to the contractor for work. Out of a total of 863 applications under the 774 projects for this relief, Rs. 6526 crores have been released. Also, another Rs. 2241 crores are under process.
Now, direct payment is made to the approved Sub-Contractor through Escrow Account. Out of the total 21 applications under 19 projects for this relief, Rs. 241 crores have been released. While Rs. 27 crores are under process.
There is also an extension in the time given to the Contractor/Concessionaire for meeting their obligation under the contract. An extension of up to six months depending on-site condition. There is also an allowance in an extension of time to Consultants (I.E/ A.E) for 3 to 6 months depending on-site condition. The Ministry has also undertaken settling of contractors’ issues including dues, through arbitration.