The Lok Sabha passed the Central Road Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2017. The Bill seeks to amend the Central Road Fund Act, 2000, through which the CESS levied and collected on high-speed petrol and diesel is distributed for development of rural roads, national highways, railways, state roads and border area roads.
The present bill seeks to allocate 2.5% of the Central Road Fund (CRF) generated to accelerate the development and maintenance of national waterways, by reduction of an equal percentage of the share of national highways. This would tentatively generate about INR 2,300 crore revenue for national waterways. With the enactment of the National Waterways Act, 2016, the total number of national waterways has become 111. This has paved the way for better regulation and development of the national waterways in the country.
This allocation is proposed to be rationalized by amending the said Act so as to provide for allocating 2.5% for the development and maintenance of national waterways. This would accelerate the development of national waterways and also offer incentives and certainty for the private sector to invest in the inland waterways transport sector.
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