The allocation for the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has seen a 68% increase with ₹1,99,107.71 crore set aside for it in the Union Budget 2023. This is in line with the massive target Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has set for expanding National Highways network by 25,000 km in 2022-2023.
The hike of ₹81,006 crore for the Ministry has been almost entirely earmarked for investments in NHAI, which has seen a 133% increase from ₹57,350 crore in last year’s Budget to ₹1,34,015 crore this year.
The Minister also said the government will also finalise its plan for expressways in 2022-2023 under the PM Gati Shakti programme.
To finance road projects, the government will also mobilise ₹20,000 crore through innovative financing to complement public financing. Of the 35 multi-modal logistics parks the government plans across the country, four will be awarded in the next fiscal.
The Minister identified the PM Gati Shakti programme — which envisages co-ordinated planning across Ministries and States for development of infrastructure — as one of the four key pillars of the Budget.
“The focus will be on planning, financing including through innovative ways, use of technology, and speedier implementation. The touchstone of the Master Plan [under PM Gati Shakti] will be world-class modern infrastructure and logistics synergy among different modes of movement — both of people and goods — and location of projects. This will help raise productivity and accelerate economic growth and development,” she said.