India, NHAI, Roads, Stories

Data: FASTag Collections Cross Rs. 50,000 crores in 2022-23 and even in 2023-24


Since the introduction of NETC, the adoption of NETC has been moderate till 2018-19. However, in 2019-20, the collections almost doubled to Rs. 11,295 Crore, from Rs. 5,760 Crore in 2018-19. The amount of toll collection in 2022-23 stood at Rs. 54,144 Crore, and for 2023-24, the collection stood at Rs. 53,289 Crore till January 2024. 

The Indian Highways Management Company, responsible for road toll management, had advised highway users to obtain FASTags from a revised list of authorized banks, omitting Paytm Payments Bank. This comes after IHMCL previously barred Paytm Payments Bank from issuing new FASTags, indicating the controversies surrounding KYC verification and a report from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The recent suspension of Paytm Payments Bank’s banking operations by the RBI, initially set until 29 February 2024 and now extended to 15 March 2024, further contributes to the evolving situation.

With Paytm being among the prominent players in FASTag payments, in both the issuer and acquirer categories, this move could impact a significant segment of the population. In today’s story, we look at some of the highlights of the FASTag transactions.

About NETC

The National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) program, popularly known as ‘FASTag’, stands as a flagship initiative of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) and the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). Its nationwide implementation facilitates direct toll payments from customers, revolutionizing the toll collection process. 

In 2016, the adoption of a “multi-issuer multi-acquirer” model was aimed at enhancing interoperability and expanding FASTag’s usage as a digital toll payment method. Subsequently, in 2017, dedicated FASTag lanes were introduced at National Highway (NH) fee plazas to facilitate seamless movement for vehicles fitted with FASTags. This convenience was further augmented in mid-February 2021, when all lanes at NH fee plazas were designated as FASTag lanes, ensuring enhanced convenience for commuters.

NETC Collections see consistent rise, 2022-23 records highest collections.

Since the introduction of NETC, the adoption of NETC has been moderate till 2018-19. However, in 2019-20, the collections almost doubled to Rs. 11,295 Crore, from Rs. 5,760 Crore in 2018-19. This might be partially due to the introduction of guidelines for the inclusion of state toll plazas under the ambit of the FASTag programme. In the next year, the growth was almost 107%, rising to Rs. 22,762 Crore, followed by a fall in the growth rates. The amount of toll collection in 2022-23 stood at Rs. 54,144 Crore, and for 2023-24, the collection stood at Rs. 53,289 Crore till January 2024. 

In terms of the volume of transactions, the number of transactions stood at 3.4 billion in 2022-23, up from 0.582 billion in 2019-20. For 2023-24, the volume of transactions was at 3.1 billion till January 2024.

December 2023 saw approximately five thousand crore user fees collection.

The data on the monthly collection of tolls during the period 2023-24, starting April to January, indicates that December month recorded the highest toll collections of Rs. 4,876 Crore, followed by October month at Rs. 4,620 Crore and January at Rs. 4,617 Crore. This is a multi-fold increase from approximately Rs. 534 Crore in December 2018 and Rs. 1,257 Crore in December 2019. At a broader level, December month collections stood at a slightly higher level compared to the rest of the months, most probably because of the holiday season and travel plans.

Average daily ETC collections slightly higher during the first three months of year.

India witnessed a remarkable 42% surge in electronic toll collection through FASTags on highways, totaling over Rs. 54,000 Crore in 2022-23 as per National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The average daily toll collection rose from Rs. 40 Crore in December 2019-20 to Rs. 119 Crore in 2021-22 and further grew to Rs. 159 Crore in 2022-23. Furthermore, a historic milestone was achieved on 29 April 2023, as the daily toll collection through the FASTag system reached an all-time high of Rs. 193.15 crore, accompanied by a record 1.16 crore transactions in a single day.

As per the information submitted to the Standing Committee, the average daily collection through FASTag at the National Highway fee plaza has exceeded Rs. 163.09 crore in the fiscal year 2023-24, up to September 2023. The count of Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) transactions and the average daily ETC transactions at the National Highway fee plaza has surpassed 94.67 lakhs in the fiscal year 2023-24, as of September 2023.

Gujarat, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh stand out in top-10 user fee toll plazas.

Toll collections depend on a variety of factors- location, type and movement of vehicles, toll charges, provisions of the concessionaire agreement, presence of structures such as bridges, tunnels, etc., and so on. As a result, some toll plazas see greater collections than the rest. The data on the collections in toll plazas show that Gujarat, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh have two toll plazas in the list of highest collections. 

The top-10 toll plazas almost collected over Rs. 250 Crore each in 2022-23, and the same can be seen for the period April 2023- January 2024. During the fiscal year 2023-24 (till January 2024), the average toll collections stood at Rs. 48 Crore, while the collections in these toll plazas are multi-fold of the average.

Decent penetration of FASTag, but some issues persist.

The recent budget session saw the presentation of the report of the Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, titled ‘Operation and Maintenance of National Highways and Management of Toll Plazas’. During the consultations, the Ministry informed the committee that the implementation of FASTag resulted in benefits such as.

  • Approximately 463 million hours of vehicle travel time are saved annually, equating to an economic value of Rs. 34,000 crores.
  • Average reduction of 47 seconds in waiting times compared to the previous average of 714 seconds during manual toll collection, along with fuel savings.
  • Toll revenue has surged by 29%, and there has been an increase in vehicle trips while pilferage has ceased.
  • Notable decrease in carbon emissions.

However, the committee also noted some issues that are still persistent in the FASTag ecosystem, such as:

  • Excess toll collection equivalent to Rs. 28 Crore in three toll plazas as noted by CAG.
  • Discovery of a bogus toll plaza in Morbi district of Gujarat.
  • Congestions at times near toll plazas due to faulty tags, blacklisted tags, equipment malfunctions, etc., 
  • Violation of the 60 km rule between adjacent toll plazas. It is followed more in the breach than the observance, noted the committee.

The committee recommended regular audits and inspections of toll plazas, measures to minimize the existing congestion, and suggested the authority implement an oversight mechanism that reviews toll collection records and financial transactions to identify any discrepancies.


Comments are closed.