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Union Budget 2019: Infrastructure sector

The Budget 2019 has identified Infrastructure as the backbone of any nation’s development and quality of life. Accordingly, Piyush Goyal announced following initiatives.

Feb 1, 2019 13:34 IST
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The Union Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal presented the Interim Budget 2019-20 on February 1, 2019. In Independent India, this will be the 89th budget and the sixth of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government.

This year, the government will present the Interim Budget, also known as ‘Vote on Account’ as it is close to the end of its term. The vote-on-account is an approval, which the government seeks from the parliament for essential spending for a limited period. The full-fledged budget will be presented by the new government.

The Budget 2019 has identified Infrastructure as the backbone of any nation’s development and quality of life. Accordingly, Piyush Goyal announced following initiatives:

Airways

India's aviation industry has seen a high in the past. India now has more than 100 operational airports with the inauguration of the Pakyong airport in Sikkim.

The domestic passenger traffic has doubled during the last five years, which has led to more job creation.

Due to 'UDAAN Scheme', ordinary citizens are also travelling by air now.

Roadways

India has become the fastest highway developer in the whole world with almost 27 km of highway built everyday.

Projects stuck for decades like the Eastern Peripheral Highway around Delhi or the Bogibeel rail-cum-road bridge in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh have been completed.

The construction of rural roads has also tripled. Around 15.8 lakh out of a total 17.84 lakh habitations have been connected with pucca roads under PMGSY. PMGSY allocated Rs 19,000 crore in 2019-20

Waterways

The flagship programme of Sagarmala along the coastal areas of the country will develop ports for faster handling of import and export cargo.

For the first time, container freight movement has started on inland waterways from Kolkata to Varanasi.

The government also plans to introduce container cargo movement to the North East as well, by improving the navigation capacity of the Brahmaputra River.

Railways

  • The Indian Railways has experienced the safest year in its history.
  • All unmanned level crossings on broad gauge network have been completely eliminated.
  • The introduction of the first indigenously developed "Vande Bharat Express" will give the Indian passengers world class experience with speed, service and safety.
  • This is a major leap in wholly developed technology. It will give an impetus to the Make in India programme and create jobs.
  • The capital support from the budget for railways is proposed at Rs 64,587 crore in 2019-20 (BE).
  • The railways’ overall capital expenditure programme is of Rs 1, 58, 658 crore. The operating ratio is expected to improve from 98.4 per cent in 2017-18 to 96.2 per cent in 2018-19 and further to 95% in 2019-20 (BE).
  • The operating ratio is expected to improve to 96.2 per cent in 18-19.

North-East

The people of North East have also received significant benefits of infrastructure development. Arunachal Pradesh came on the air map recently and Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram have come on India’s rail map for the first time.

The allocation for the North Eastern Areas is being proposed to be increased by 21 per cent to Rs 58,166 crore in 2019-20 over 2018-19.

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