Finance minister gives Rs 2,18,000 crore boost to infrastructure

Rs 27,000 crore allocated for speeding-up road construction under PMGSY and Rs 55,000 crore for road transport and highways

GN Bureau | February 29, 2016


#infrastructure projects   #arun jaitley   #budget 2016  

In its bid to give a major push to improving the infrastructure in the country, finance minister Arun Jaitley, has announced a total outlay of Rs 2,18,000 crore as capital expenditure for roads and railways in 2016-17. The year’s budget also promises that the Airport Authority of India will be reviving un-served and underserved airstrips in partnership with the state governments.Budget 2016

Presenting the general budget 2016-17 in Lok Sabha, the finance minister said that infrastructure and investment were the fifth support pillars of his budget theme “Transform India”.

The year’s budget has allocated Rs 27,000 crore for speeding-up of the process of road construction under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY) and Rs 55,000 crore for road transport and highways. Another Rs 15,000 crore is to be raised by the National Highways Authoroty of India (NHAI) through bonds.
 
The budget also proposed an outlay of Rs 1,21,000 crore towards capital expenditure of the Indian Railways.
The finance minister also announced that nearly 10,000 kms of national highways were expected to be approved in 2016-17. “In addition nearly 50,000 kms of state highways will also be taken-up for up-gradation as national highways. The total outlay for infrastructure in budgetary estimates 2016-17 stands at Rs 2,21,246 crore,” he said.
 
Announcing that the government will be enacting necessary amendments in the Motor Vehicles Act to open-up the road transport sector in the passenger segment, Jaitley further said that an enabling eco-system will be provided for the states which will have the choice of adopting the new legal framework.
 
The budget also promises enabling business environment for the entrepreneurs, who will be able to operate buses on various routes, subject to certain efficiency and safety norms. “This will benefit the poor and middle class, encourage new investment, promote start up entrepreneurs and create new jobs. This is a major reform measure,” a ministry of finance release noted.
 
“We are planning to develop new greenfield ports both in the eastern and western coasts of the country. The work on the national waterways is also being expedited and Rs 800 crore has been provided for these initiatives,” the finance minister said.

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