Highlighting Prime Minister’s Statement in the Independence Day Speech 2019, that Rs. 100 lakh Crore would be invested on infrastructure over the next 5 years, Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the Union Budget 2020-21 in Parliament today said “As a follow up measure, I had launched the National Infrastructure Pipeline on 31st December 2019 of Rs 103 lakh crore. It consists of more than 6500 projects across sectors and are classified as per their size and stage of development.”
The Finance Minister further said, that the National Skill Development Agency will give special thrust to infrastructure-focused skill development opportunities and that a huge employment opportunity exists for India’s youth in construction, operation and maintenance of infrastructure.
The Union Budget proposed to set up a project preparation facility for infrastructure projects. This programme would actively involve young engineers, management graduates and economists from our Universities.
The Budget also proposed to direct all infrastructure agencies of the government to involve youth-power in start-ups.
The Finance Minister also proposed A National Logistics Policy, to be released soon and this would clarify the roles of the Union Government, State Governments and key regulators and create a single window e-logistics market and focus on generation of employment, skills and making MSMEs competitive.
Measures for improving roads Infrastructure
While presenting the Union Budget 2020-21, the Finance minister said that Accelerated development of highways will be undertaken. She said “This will include development of 2500 Km access control highways, 9000 Km of economic corridors, 2000 Km of coastal and land port roads and 2000 Km of strategic highways. Delhi-Mumbai Expressway and two other packages to be completed by 2023. Chennai-Bengaluru Expressway also be started. It is proposed to monetise at least 12 lots of highway bundles of over 6000 Km before 2024.”
Measures for improving Railways Infrastructure
Enlisting the achievements of Railways within 100 days of assumption of the current government, the Finance minister proposed the following five measures for optimisation of costs
o Setting up a large solar power capacity alongside the rail tracks, on the land owned by the railways
o Four station re-development projects and operation of 150 passenger trains would be done through PPP mode.
o More Tejas type trains will connect iconic tourist destinations.
o High speed train between Mumbai to Ahmedabad would be actively pursued.
o 148 km long Bengaluru Suburban transport project at a cost of Rs 18600 crore, would have fares on metro model. Central Government would provide 20% of equity and facilitate external assistance up to 60% of the project cost.
With an aim to build a seamless national cold supply chain for ‘perishables’, The Minister also proposed that the Indian Railways will set up a “Krishi Rail”- through PPP arrangements. There will be refrigerated coaches in express and Frieght trains as well she said.