Govt aims to attract 100 lakh crore in infrastructure

Nirmala said infrastructure-financing needs have been estimated at around Rs 20 lakh crore a year and has proposed to enhance the sources of capital for infrastructure financing, including setting up a Credit Guarantee Enhancement Corporation, for which r

The Centre is aiming to spend Rs 100 lakh crore on infrastructure upgradation over the next five years, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Friday.

To achieve this, an expert committee will be set up to study the current situation relating to long-term finance and our past experiences with development finance institutions, and recommend the structure and required flow of funds through development finance institutions, she said in her Budget speech.

Nirmala said infrastructure-financing needs have been estimated at around Rs 20 lakh crore a year and has proposed to enhance the sources of capital for infrastructure financing, including setting up a Credit Guarantee Enhancement Corporation, for which regulations have been notified by the Reserve Bank of India.

Terming connectivity the lifeblood of the economy, the minister announced a slew of steps to scale up India’s infrastructure programmes, including augmenting 1,25,000 km of rural roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana at a cost of Rs 80,250 crore and creating a national highways grid.

For the transport sector, Rs 83,000 crore has been allocated against last year’s Rs 78,626 crore.

She also announced that the government will carry out a comprehensive restructuring of the National Highway Programme to ensure that the National Highway Grid of desirable length and capacity is created using a finance-able model. She said that after completing Phase-1 of the project, which is called ‘Bharatmala’, states will be helped to develop state road networks in the second phase.

The Central Road and Infrastructure Cess on petrol and diesel has also been raised by Re 1 per litre. This will give a boost to the development of infrastructure, she said.

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