Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today announced a capital outlay of Rs 2.40 lakh crore for the Railways, which is the highest-ever and about 9 times the outlay made in 2013-14.
In the General Budget presented in Parliament, She also announced that 100 critical transport infrastructure projects, for last and first-mile connectivity for ports, coal, steel, fertilizer, and food grains sectors have been identified and they will be taken up on priority with an investment of Rs 75,000 crore, including Rs 15,000 crore from private sources.
She said that 50 additional airports, heliports, water aerodromes and advanced landing grounds will be revived for improving regional air connectivity.
”Investments in infrastructure and productive capacity have a large multiplier impact on growth and employment. After the subdued period of the pandemic, private investments are growing again,” Sitaharam noted.
The finance minister announced that an Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (UIDF) will be established through the use of priority sector lending shortfall, which will be managed by the National Housing Bank, and will be used by public agencies to create urban infrastructure in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
She said the states will be encouraged to leverage resources from the grants of the 15th Finance Commission, as well as existing schemes, to adopt appropriate user charges while accessing the UIDF. The government will make available Rs 10,000 crore per annum for this purpose, she added.