Infrastructure and connectivity Budget 2019 Highlights

Infrastructure and connectivity Budget 2019 Highlights

    Infrastructure and connectivity – Budget 2019 Highlights

Budget 2019 highlights for infrastructure and connectivity:-

  • The government would focus on investment in infrastructure, national highways and aviation sectors.

  • The second phase of Bharat Mala would develop state highways.

  • A comprehensive restructuring of national highways would be taken up.

Infrastructure and connectivity Highlights:-

The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had made her maiden budget of the Modi 2.0 Government in the Lok Sabha on July 5, 2019, in the Parliament.  The budget speech highlighted the importance of infrastructure as well as connectivity towards the Indian economy, for enhancing and taking forward programs across numerous key infrastructure sub-sectors.

The government has plans to restructure the national highways program towards creating a network of highways grid of a desirable capacity for better connectivity.

The government envisions the use of rivers for cargo transportation, a move that would decongest roads and railways and also in this budget it was stated by the finance minister that the railway ministry is in the procedure of completing the ambitious dedicated freight corridor (DFC). Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also stated that railways would be encouraged to make investments and expand the network in suburban areas.

The Railway infrastructure is required for an investment of â‚¹50 lakh crore between 2018 and 2030; also she stated that adding that Public Private Partnerships (PPP) shall also be used for allowing faster development and delivery of passenger freight services.

Nirmala Sitharaman also announced that the government will even launch station modernization program this year.

Projects for example industrial corridors, DFC, Bharatmala, Sagarmala and UDAN schemes have and would continue towards improving connectivity and increase competitiveness.

Road corridor project Bharatmala, port-linked industrialization plan Sagarmala, as well as UDAN, would assist in bridging the rural-urban divide and improve transport infrastructure.

Nirmala Sitharaman also discussed allowing commercial activity around transit hubs. Sitharaman also held that cargo movement in Ganga would increase four times in 4 years with the making of transit hubs at Varanasi, Sahigbanj, and Haldia.

The government has set a fund target of Rs 80,250 crore for phase three of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, under which the government intends to build 1,25,000 km of village roads. The earlier phases of this scheme led towards the construction of 30,000 km of village roads with green technology, which would continue.

The FM had also allocated the highest budgetary support of Rs 83,016 crore towards the highways sector in the interim budget announced earlier this year in February and Rs 64,587 crore for railways.

The 2019 budget focused on comprehensive plans and blueprints for various infrastructure plans and grids, especially in the context of considering systemic trade-offs and development of economic and efficient infrastructure, as well as involving the private sector in this area in a bigger way on a long-term basis.

The government will be focusing on “one nation, one grid". The government shall also introduce policy interventions to revive nearly 24GW of natural gas-powered power plants, presently stranded for the lack of natural gas supply.

The government would also examine the performance of the Ujwal Income Assurance Yojana (UDAY), which was introduced to stabilize the financial bearings of state power distribution companies. The Centre would also look into the electricity tariff policy and tweak it towards benefiting the sector struggling to sign long-term power purchase agreements with states.

The nation has raised Rs 24,000 crore by way of monetizing public infrastructure, through infrastructure investment trusts, real estate investment trusts as well as the toll-operate-transfer scheme of the National Highways Authority of India.

For increasing investment, the government would encourage foreign portfolio investors towards investing in infrastructure debt funds, present credit default swaps for the infrastructure sector, deepen the corporate bond market, as well as encourage equity investment by non-residential Indians.

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eStartIndia Team

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