Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday presented the Union Budget 2021-22 in Parliament. Sitharaman said the budget for 2021-22 rests on six pillars – Health and Wellbeing, Physical infrastructure, inclusive growth, human capital, Research & Development, and lastly, minimum government and maximum governance.
FM Sitharaman announced several provisions for the development of Indian Railways and Urban infrastructure in her budget speech.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the government will spend Rs 1.1 Lakh crore for railways the fiscal year. Out of the total outlay, Rs 1.07 lakh crore will be spent on capital expenditure, the Finance Minister said in her budget.
The Finance Minister added that Indian Railways will monetize dedicated freight corridor assets after commissioning. Indian railways have prepared National Rail Plan for India 2030, said Finance Minister Sitharaman.
The FM announced that Eastern Freight Corridor will be taken up this year through PPP mode. Further, three future dedicated freight corridors – East Coast, East-west, North-south are scheduled to be completed, said Finance Minister. These will have an automatic system on high-density rail routes to avoid collisions, she said adding that 100% electrification of broad-gauge rail routes will be done by December 2023.
Roads, Highways and Urban Infrastructure
In her budget, the Finance Minister announced that an outlay of Rs 1.18 Lakh crore for the Ministry of Road transport and highways to further augment road infrastructure. FM Sitharaman said more than 13,000 km of roads awarded under Bharat Mala project.
“Around 3,800 km have been constructed in Bharatmala so far and 8,500 km to be awarded by March 2022. Will complete an additional 11,000 km of NH corridor by March 2022. More economic corridors are being planned – 3,500 km of NH works are ongoing in Tamil Nadu, investment of Rs 1.03 lakh crore 1,100 km of national highway works in Kerala, investment of Rs 65,000 crore 675 km of highway works in West Bengal, cost of Rs 25,000 crore,” FM Sitharaman said.
Finance Minister also announced a sharp increase in capital expenditure at 5.54 lakh crore, from Rs 4.39 lakh crore in 2021.
“NHAI has sponsored one InVit to attract investors. Thus 5 operational roads with Rs 5,000 crore value being transferred to NHAI InVit. NHAI operational roll roads are to be monetized,” FM Minister said.