NEW DELHI: The government today introduced in the
a bill providing for allocation of about Rs 2,000 crore from
Central Road Fund
(CRF) for developing national waterways (NWs).
The Central Road Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2017 to further amend the Central Road Fund Act, 2000 was moved by Minister of State for Shipping
in absence of Shipping Minister
The bill seeks to amend the Central Road Fund Act, 2000, to allocate 2.5 per cent of the proceeds of CRF for development and maintenance of NWs and a reduction in the share provided for development of National Highways.
Parliament had last year enacted National Waterways (NWs) Act, 2016, for developing and maintaining the existing five NWs and 106 new NWs across the country.
"National Waterways provide cost-effective, logistically efficient and environment-friendly way of transport, whose development as a supplementary mode would enable diversion of traffic over congested roads and railways," according to the objects of the Bill.
CRF is made up of cess on petrol and high speed diesel. The cess at present is Rs 6 per litre.
The fund collected under CRF was Rs 80,800 crore in 2016 -17, Rs 69,540 crore in 2015-16 and Rs 25,122 crore in 2014- 15.
Inland Waterways Authority of India
(IWAI) has estimated that approximately Rs 25,000 crore would be required for development of identified projects on NWs till 2022-23.