New Delhi: Allocating a record Rs 3.96 lakh crore to infrastructure sector, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said the magnitude of investment will spur economic activities and create more jobs.
Presenting Budget for 2016-17 in Parliament, Jaitley said, “Total allocation for infrastructure stands at a record level Rs 3,96,135 crore in 2017-18.”
“The magnitude of investment”, he said, will spur a huge amount of economic activities in the country and create more job opportunities.
For the transport sector, as a whole, including railways, road, shipping, the Finance Minister said, “I have provided Rs 2,41,387 crore in 2017-18.”
The FM said, “I feel privileged to present the first combined budget of Independent India that includes the Railways also. We are now in a position to synergise the investment in railways, roads, waterways and civil aviation.
For 2017-18, the total capital and development expenditure of Railways has been pegged at Rs 1,31,000 crore. This includes Rs 55,000 crore provided by the government from the Budget.”
For highways, he said the budget allocation has been stepped up to Rs 64,000 crore in FY18 from Rs 57,676 crore.
He said, “In the road sector I have stepped up the budget allocation for the National Highways from Rs 57,676 crore in the BE of 2016-17 to Rs 64,000 crore in 2017-18.”
Jaitley said 2,000 kms of coastal connectivity roads have been identified for construction and development.
This will facilitate better connectivity of ports and remote villages, he said.
“The total length of roads including those under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) built from 2014-15 to current year is about 1,40,000 kms which is significantly higher than the previous three years,” Jaitley said.
He added that an effective multi-modal logistics and transport system will “make our economy more competitive. A specific programme for development of multi-modal logistic parks together with multi-modal facilities will be drawn up and implemented.”
On solar power front, he said the second phase of solar power development will be taken up with an aim of generating 20,000 MW.
Also, he said select airports in tier-II cities will be taken up for operations and development on PPP mode.
A new metro rail policy will have innovative methods of financing, the FM said.