The Shipping Ministry has proposed to utilize part of the fuel cess collected for building national highways for expansion of National Waterways as well. Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, said that his Ministry has sent a proposal seeking allocation of 5% of the Central Road Fund for development of Inland Waterways.
Central Road Fund is a non-lapsable fund created under the Central Road Fund Act 2000 out of a cess imposed on petrol and high-speed diesel. The funds are meant to be used to develop and maintain national highways, state roads and railway over and under bridges. The move to seek a pie in the CRF follows government’s ambitious plan to tap India’s vast network of rivers and canals stretching 14,500 kms for moving goods.
Press Information Bureau