In order to boost infrastructure, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday gave a lion's share of the total plan allocations at Rs 1.73 lakh crore to the sector, which includes roads, ports, airports and railways, in 2010-11.
In the Budget for 2010-11, the sector will claim as much as 46 per cent of Rs 3.73 lakh crore of the total plan outlay. "I propose to maintain the thrust for upgrading infrastructure in both rural and urban areas," Mukherjee said in his Budget speech.
Of the total allocations for the infrastructure sector, those for roads and railways account for Rs 36,646 crore, an increase of about Rs 3,500 crore.
Mukherjee said in order to make a visible impact on the road sector, the government has made changes in the policy framework for public-private-partnership (PPP) projects and has targeted construction of national highways (NHs) at the pace of 20 km per day.
He said allocation for road transport sector has been increased by 13 per cent. "For the year 2010-11, I propose to raise the allocation of road transport by over 13 per cent from Rs 17,520 crore to Rs 19,894 crore," he added.
He proposed to raise the allocation for railways by Rs 950 crore in 2010-11 compared with Rs 16,752 crore last year to help it expand its network.
"I have provided Rs 16,752 crore in the Budget for 2010-11 for railways to lend her a helping hand," he said.