While presenting the General Budget 2016-17 in Lok Sabha today, the Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley said that Infrastructure and Investment is the Fifth Support Pillar of Budget Theme ‘Transform India’. A total outlay of Rs. 2,18,000 crore will be spent on capital expenditure of roads and railways in 2016-17. For speeding-up of the process of road construction, an allocation of Rs. 27,000 crore has been purposed for Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY) and Rs. 55,000 crore for Road Transport and Highways. Another Rs.15,000 crore are to be raised by NHAI through Bonds. An outlay towards capital expenditure of the Railways is proposed at Rs. 1,21,000 crore.
Shri Jaitley announced that nearly 10,000 KMs of National Highways are 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 that the Government will enact necessary amendments in the Motor Vehicles Act and open-up the road transport sector in the passenger segment. An enabling eco-system will be provided for the States which will have the choice of adopting the new legal framework. Entrepreneurs 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.
“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 Rs 800 crore has been provided for these initiatives”, the Finance Minister said. In Civil Aviation sector, un-served and underserved airstrips are to be revived by Airport Authority of India and also in partnership with State Governments.