Expediting settlement of claims through conciliation, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has settled claims worth Rs 13,349 crore for Rs 3,743 crore, the government said on Wednesday.
In its endeavour for faster settlement of claims and reducing liabilities thereby, NHAI has rigorously started the process of conciliation by constituting three Conciliation Committees of Independent Experts (CCIE) of three members each, it said.
"NHAI is working on a fast track mode to resolve all the disputes through conciliation...Till Now, 108 cases have been referred to CCIE and claims worth Rs 13,349 crore have been successfully settled for an amount of Rs 3,743 crore," the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said in a statement.
These conciliation committees are being headed by retired officials from the judiciary, senior experts from public administration, finance as well as from the private sector.
As per the Arbitration Act, 2015 and its amendment in 2019, all arbitration disputes are to be settled within a period of 12 to 18 months.
"However, the possibility of resolution of claims within 12 months is very less, as it involves various procedures," it said.
At the same time, the conciliation route ensures amicable settlement of claims in faster, fairer and transparent manner, the statement said.
Conciliation-cum-settlement proceedings are completed in each case through five sittings within a period of not more than six months from the day the reference is made to CCIE.
Moreover, conciliation as per the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015 is more robust, much faster and the settlement arrived through this process has the same legal value as of an arbitral award or decree of court, it said.
Conciliation of cases is not only reducing the legal hassles of both the parties in a long-drawn arbitration process but the money stuck in arbitral cases can be unlocked for revival of the private sector, it added.