In an affidavit filed in the Delhi High Court, IDFC, the lead banker in the consortium of lenders to the beleaguered Delhi-Gurgaon expressway project, has said that if the Rs 1,600-crore debt to the concessionaire DS Construction was not restructured, it could lead to the project being classified as a non-performing asset (NPA) under RBI rules.
"If the debt is not restructured, it is likely that the project would be categorised as a NPA as per the guidelines of the RBI, and this is likely to affect the project and its stakeholders, including NHAI, adversely,” IDFC said, while objecting to the allegations levied by National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) that the company and four other lenders of the project are in connivance with DS Construction.
The other four in the lenders’ consortium are Bank of India, PNB, Oriental Bank of Commerce and State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur.
The IDFC-led lender's consortium has also submitted that the restructuring of the project has become imperative because of a host of factors that are beyond senior lenders' control, adding that NHAI also stands to be blamed as it has not increased toll rates for the last two years.
Further, the senior lenders have hit back at NHAI's connivance charge by saying that its “actions have not been guided or motivated by any favouritism towards or in connivance with the concessionaire, but to protect their interests and the project itself”.