Budget 2017: Corporate

Infrastructure gets a major boost

About 2,000 km of coastal roads will get upliftment.  

Presented as the fifth component of a 10-point package to drive the government’s agenda to ‘transform, energise and clean India’, the 2017-18 Budget gives a major push to the infrastructure sector.

This sector will see a major rise in allocation from ₹3.4 lakh crore to ₹3.9 crore (BE). Transport (including rail,roads and shipping) accounts for a bulk of the expenditure at ₹2.4 lakh crore.

Utilising the opportunity of the first combined Budget, Arun Jaitley said that the government was now in a position to synergise investments in railways, roads, waterways and civil aviation.

Highways allocation

The Budget allocation for highways at ₹64,900 crore reflect a 12% hike. He said that 2,000 km of coastal roads had been identified for construction and development, facilitating better connectivity with ports and remote villages.

Aware that Railways faces stiff competition from other transportation modes, often in the private sector, Mr. Jaitley said: “Railways will implement end-to-end integrated transport solutions for select commodities through partnerships with logistic players, who would provide front and back-end connectivity.”

The Sagarmala project allocation will see a hike from the ₹450 crore Budget estimates to ₹600 crore. Metro projects, an important link in urban transportation has already received allocation hikes in this fiscal and is budgeted to get a further hike.

The Finance Minister said in his speech that among other things, the Budget’s thrust was to stimulate growth and the magnitude of investment in the transportation sector alone will spur economic activity and create job opportunities, through the push to infrastructure.

Industry and chambers of commerce agree. T.V. Narendran, CII Eastern Region chief and MD Tata Steel said that the infrastructure boost “will have a multiplier effect and bring about inclusive growth by connecting rural areas.” Vishwas Udrigar, partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, India, said that more detailing is required for implementation.

Shot in the arm for steel

Atanu Mukherjee, president, M.N. Dastur, saw positives for the steel sector in the push to infrastructure and affordable housing. SAIL Chairman P.K. Singh and Mr. Narendran agree.

Umersh Revankar, MD & CEO, Shriram Transport Finance Co., said that the budget continues to rightly focus on rural development and infrastructure, and the planned investment in these critical areas will not only create jobs but also spur demand and economic growth.

Hemant Kanoria, chairman and managing director Srei Infrastructure Finance Ltd., said: “The Budget speech mentions a number of steps to be taken and several policies to be announced. But until and unless the details of those are in the public domain, it would be premature to comment.”

All these developments in the infra sector will go a long way in benefitting the real estate sector, feels Shishir Baijal, chairman & managing director, Knight Frank India.


Business Editor Suresh Seshadri and Senior Deputy Editor Bharat Kumar Kalyanasundaram discuss the Union Budget 2017, the economy and the common man.



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Printable version | Jun 10, 2021 1:19:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/budget/Infrastructure-gets-a-major-boost/article17131274.ece

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