Allocating a major share to infrastructure that includes Rs 2.21 lakh crore outlay, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said enhanced allocations coupled with reforms and steps will remove obstacles impeding the sector’s growth.
Presenting Budget for 2016-17 in Parliament, Jaitley said infrastructure is one of the strong pillars of economy and “exemplary” and “proactive” steps by government to remove hurdles resulted in India awarding highest ever road contracts in 2015 as well as highest ever sales of motor vehicles which are clearly “signs of growth”.
Total outlay for infrastructure has been put at Rs 2.21 lakh crore for 2016-17, the Finance Minister said adding total allocation for road and rail in 2016-17 is Rs 2.18 lakh crore.
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The Finance Minister said as high as 85 per cent of “the 70 stuck road projects have been put back on track”. These projects entailed an investment to the tune of Rs one lakh crore involving 8,003 km, he said.
For highways sector, Jaitley said, an allocation of Rs 55,000 crore has been made while National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) can raise tax free bonds of Rs 15,000 crore.
“The total allocation for the road sector has been Rs 97,000 crore including rural roads,” he said. A sum of Rs 19,000 cr has been llocated for Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana in 2016-17 and in all, Rs 27,000 cr after contribution from states.
Jaitley also announced that “abolition of permit law will be our medium-term goal in public transport”.
He said a new credit rating system for infrastructure will be developed.
To bolster ports sector, Rs 8,000 crore has been provided for Sagarmala project.
The minister said to boost mass transport, entrepreneurs will be permitted to play buses on various routes which will be “game changing” in public transport system.
Jaitley also said Motor Vehicles Act will be amended.