New Delhi: The Union Cabinet approved a proposal to restructure the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to improve its functioning and facilitate public-private partnerships (PPPs), and removed controls over manufacture of jaggery to improve prices for sugarcane farmers and the small-scale sugar industry.
NHAI will have a new full time member responsible for PPPs. Public private partnerships usually concern the financial and operational participation of the private sector in large projects that would have otherwise been implemented exclusively by government firms or departments.
NHAI will also be allowed to engage outside experts as financial analysts, transport economists, contract management specialists and legal experts. Its chairman will be selected by a search committee headed by the cabinet secretary, and will include a director of an Indian Institute of Management.
In other decisions, the cabinet committee on economic affairs approved procurement of three new dredgers for the Dredging Corp. of India Ltd, at a cost of Rs1,087 crore. It also permitted the Shipping Corp. of India Ltd to acquire 12 new vessels at the cost of Rs3,193 crore.