TOLL collections are likely to grow 14-15 per cent in 2021-22, rating agency Icra said on Thursday maintaining stable outlook for the Indian road sector. Toll collections witnessed a marked improvement on the back of increased movement of both passenger and commercial vehicles, which has picked up significantly over the last three months, thereby surpassing the pre-COVID-19 levels, it said.
“In FY2022, the traffic is expected to increase by 5 per cent and toll rates (WPI linked) by 3-4 per cent resulting in an overall increase in toll collections by 14-15 per cent on a low base in FY2021 (given the impact of toll suspension in first 20 days of April 2020),” Icra said in a statement. It said on an average, the increase in toll collections in September - November 2020 stood at around 13 per cent, implying a growth of 8-9 per cent in traffic in terms of passenger car units (PCUs); one-third of this growth is contributed by the passenger vehicle category and the remaining from commercial vehicles.
“Strong liquidity buffers and quick recovery in traffic have arrested major slippages in the credit profile of toll road assets,” Icra noted. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has initiated a slew of relief measures like shift from milestone-based billing (typically ranging between 45-75 days) to monthly billing and release of retention money / performance security in proportion to the work already executed among others, which has immensely supported the road contractors.