Extending FASTag program across State and City toll plazas will lead to convenience in toll payments for commuters

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)’s national electronic toll collection (NETC) program has gained significant momentum and now accounts for 25% value of the total toll collected. National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) & Indian Highways Management Company Limited (IHMCL) had engaged NPCI to create an interoperable, scalable solution to meet the electronic tolling requirements of the Indian market and accordingly NPCI had launched the NETC programme in December 2016.

NETC encompasses a common set of processes, business rules and technical specifications which enable a customer to use a FASTag that is affixed on the windscreen of the vehicle as payment mode on any of the toll plazas irrespective of who has acquired the toll plaza. FASTag is a RFID passive tag which permits the customer to drive through toll plazas, without stopping for any toll payments. The toll fare is directly deducted from the linked account of the customer. FASTag is also vehicle specific and once it is affixed to a vehicle, it cannot be transferred to another vehicle.

In order to promote the vision of One Nation – One Tag National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and Indian Highways Management Company Limited (IHMCL) conducted a workshop on March 28 2019, to discuss and extend the FASTag services across all State & City toll plazas. IHMCL has come out with an attractive State/City/SPV onboarding policy, whereby they would be providing financial assistance to the State/City/SPV authority for implementation of NETC program. The workshop was attended by officials of Indian Highways Management Company Limited, National Highway Authority of India, National Payments Corporation of India, Karnataka State Highways Improvement Project (KSHIP), Gujarat State Road Development Corporation Limited, Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation, Madhya Pradesh State Road Development Corporation, Tamil Nadu Road Development Company Ltd and officials from NETC member Banks.

On the recent developments in NETC, Praveena Rai Chief Operating Officer NPCI said, “The NETC program has gained tremendous traction in the last one year. From an average daily transaction of 30,000 in Jan 2017, we are currently processing 8.62 lakh transactions daily. This can be easily scaled up further, if State and City toll plazas start accepting FASTag for toll payments. Today 22 issuer banks have collectively issued 4.6 million FASTags which is accepted over 496 toll plazas across the country. Going forward, more use cases like Parking, Enforcement (e-challan) etc. can be added and NETC program can become a single stop solution for all payments linked to a vehicle “

During the workshop, Mr. Rajesh Sharma, CGM Finance NHAI emphasised the relevance of FASTag program in the overall Digitial India initiative. He said “The adoption of FASTag program by State & City authorities shall improve transparency of toll transactions, reduce revenue leakages, and improve overall efficiency and commercial competitiveness”

Adoption of NETC program by State/City/SPV toll plazas shall help them in addressing the congestion issue and provide a seamless experience to the commuters. Recent government measures like mandating FASTag on all new vehicle sold since December 2017 has created a large captive base, which can be readily utilised by the state and city authorities

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