Kerala to tap NRK chitty for Rs 10,000-cr highway projects

Thiruvananthapuram, March 3 (IANS) State Finance Minister Thomas Issac in his budget presented on Friday decided to seek the support of the more than 2.5 million Non-Resident Keralites (NRK) for the construction of two highways at a cost of Rs 10,000 crore.

The project, which will be financed through a chitty scheme, includes a 1,267-km long hill highway expected to cost Rs 3,500 crore and a 630-km long coastal highway expected to cost Rs 6,500 crore.

“These two highways will be constructed with the support of NRKs. None of them have to contribute a single penny for this purpose, instead they have to join an NRI chitty of the state-run Kerala State Financial Enterprise (KSFE). Our target is to see that one lakh NRKs join the chitty in the first year,” said Issac.

“NRKs can make their monthly remittances through any of the payment gateways. The entire money collected would be invested in the NRI bonds of state-owned KIIFB (Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board) in the name of KSFE. There will be a call option available for the KSFE for withdrawing it and this is a novel way to raise funds,” he said.

“There is not going to be any risk for the investor. Besides they become partners in the development of the state. As and when the member wishes to participate in the bid process it can be done online,” he added.

–IANS

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