Union Budget 2018: Rs 5.97 lakh crore allocated to boost rail, road infrastructure

The Central government on Thursday announced an all-time high allocation to rail and road sectors and said it is committed to further enhancing of public investment.

Published: 02nd February 2018 01:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd February 2018 06:50 AM   |  A+A-

Indian Railways. (PTI File Photo)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: In order to create employment and aid growth, the investment on rail and road infrastructure for 2018-19 has been pegged at Rs 5.97 lakh crore against an estimated expenditure of Rs 4.94 lakh crore in 2017-18. The Central government on Thursday announced an all-time high allocation to rail and road sectors and said it is committed to further enhancing of public investment.

“Provisions of key linkages like coal for power, power for railways, and railway rakes for coal have been rationalised and made very efficient. The Prime Minister personally reviews the targets and achievements in infrastructure sectors on a regular basis. Using online monitoring system of PRAGATI alone, projects worth Rs 9.46 lakh crore have been facilitated and fast-tracked,” said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

With its focus on better road infrastructure and last mile connectivity, the NDA government expressed confidence in completing National Highways exceeding 9,000 kilometres in length during 2017-18.

Besides, the Bharatmala Pariyojana has been approved for providing seamless connectivity of interior and backward areas and borders of the country to develop about 35,000 km in Phase-I at an estimated cost of Rs 5,35,000 crore.

“To raise equity from the market for its mature road assets, the National Highways Authority of India will consider organising its road assets into Special Purpose Vehicles and use innovative monetising structures like Toll, Operate and Transfer and Infrastructure Investment Funds,” said Jaitley.

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