Transport infra push gets thumbs up from industry

Transport infra push gets thumbs up from industry
The announcements made by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech, meant to boost transport infrastructure in the country, have been hailed by industry players. Welcoming the move to improve road connectivity, Aurvind Lama, co-founder and CEO of Travelyaari, said, “The Budget brought in a progressive outlook with due importance given to infrastructure development. The investment proposed in building national highways along with developing the road network is a welcome step, especially for players like us in the bus industry, and will greatly benefit travel and tourism.”

The Union Budget, which for the first time integrated the Railway Budget into its documents, brought out a slew of novel measures to improve rail infrastructure and connectivity. “India has a vast railway network and the Budget acknowledges its strength. A significant development is the emphasis on safety and sanitation by introducing bio-toilets, which will increase passenger comfort. It is also encouraging to note the measures that will be incorporated to make the Railways friendlier for the disabled,” said Thomas Cook (India) COO Mahesh Iyer, lauding the government’s plans.

Echoing a similar sentiment, but this time in the realm of civil aviation, Deloitte India Partner Peeyush Naidu said, “Awarding of operations and management of airports in Tier II cities on Public-Private-Partnership mode is a welcome move as it will help create a roadmap for private sector participation in airports in the country and in improving the operations at these airports. Also, amending the Airport Authority Act to allow for land monetisation is a step in the right direction. It will help boost the non-aeronautical revenues of airports and improve their viability.”

Travkart co-founder Gursahib Singh Sethi hailed the announcement for increase in rail connectivity to remote areas and upgradation of airports in Tier II cities. “A huge number of people will be able to travel smoothly from smaller towns and cities,” he said. “However, it is surprising that the government omitted ports and shipping from this year’s Budget.”  

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