Mega infrastructure push in Budget 2018 to add jobs

Targeting the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the upcoming Budget will have major push on infrastructure development.

Published: 25th December 2017 07:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th December 2017 07:54 AM   |  A+A-

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addresses during the 90th Annual General Meeting of the FICCI in New Delhi. | PTI

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley | PTI

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Targeting the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the upcoming Budget will have major push on infrastructure development. Sources said the government might increase the allocation for the infra sector by up to 50 per cent in the Budget. 

The main focus will be to create more job opportunities in the next one year and the Budget will see major thrust with regard to this. Officials said more allocation to infrastructure will serve twin purposes. While it will be able to create more job opportunities, it will also result in infrastructure boost in the country leading to strengthening of the development plank of the Narendra Modi government.

The last Budget had seen allocation of Rs 3.96 lakh crore, whereas it may go up to `6 lakh crore this time, said sources, adding that the government will announce construction of more airports, roads, ports and other projects in the Budget. The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak yojana might get about 20 per cent increased allocation this time. Similarly, highways and roads may get about 10-15 per cent more allocation in the Budget. “Greater focus on the infrastructure sector with more budgetary allocation has already been deliberated upon in a meeting at the Ministry of Finance,” said a senior government official.

Officials said the Niti Aayog had aggressively pushed for infrastructure development with an aim to spur economic growth and job creation in the country. Besides a boost to road and rail connectivity, the think tank panel had sought replicating the Chinese model of coastal economic zones to levergae cheap labour to enhance India’s share in global trade. 

The Niti Aayog had been consulting State governments to develop coastal economic zones by assuring that it would speed up road and rail connectivity. “Expansion of road and rail networks has been planned keeping this in mind. Construction of more ports will also have focus,” added the official.

The government had recently announced the Bharatmala project under which 44 economic corridors will be created with thrust on job creation. A total of 83,677 km of roads will be built over the next five years and an estimated Rs 6.92 lakh crore would be spent on the construction of roads. Under the mega infrastructure development plan, about 14.2 crore man-days of jobs would be created.The Budget will be crucial considering the government has only one year ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

50% more allocation
Infrastructure development might get up to 50% more allocation
Last Budget has seen allocation of L3.96 lakh crore for infra development, it may go up to
L6 lakh crore this time
Bigger investment in construction of airports, roads, ports and other projects
According to Niti Aayog, more investments in infra will lead to more jobs

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