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India to increase road tolls from Monday, officials say

India will increase road tolls nationwide by between 3% and 5% starting Monday, officials said, after suspending the annual increase in April due to the country’s general election.

Toll rates in India are revised annually based on inflation and highway operators have published notices in local newspapers announcing hikes of 3-5% at nearly 1,100 toll plazas starting Monday .

“With the election process over, the revision of toll rates, which was suspended during the elections, would come into effect on June 3,” a senior official of the National Highways Authority of India told Reuters.

The official said the increase in tolls and taxes on petroleum products helped finance the expansion of national roads, but opposition parties and many motorists criticize the annual increase in tariffs, saying they increase costs of transporting essential goods and weigh on commuters.

Large operators like IRB Infrastructure Developers and Ashoka Buildcon Ltd. will benefit from toll increases.

India has invested billions of dollars over the past decade to expand its national highways, with a total length of around 1,46,000 kilometers, the second largest road network in the world.

Toll collections jumped to over ₹54,000 crore ($6.5 billion) in the 2022/23 financial year from ₹25,200 crore in 2018/19, helped by an increase in road traffic as well as by increasing the number of toll plazas and tariffs.

India’s general election concluded on Saturday with the alliance led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) expected to win a large majority, according to televised exit polls.

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