Budget: Vision to make India $10 trillion economy by 2030
Emphasising that infrastructure is the backbone of any nation’s development, finance minister Piyush Goyal, in the interim budget presented on Friday, laid out the vision to make India a $10 trillion economy by 2030.
This will comprise next generation infrastructure of roads, railways, seaports, airports, urban transport, gas and electric transmission and inland waterways, Goyal said.
“We are poised to become a $5-trillion economy in the next five years and aspire to become a $10-trillion economy in the next 8 years thereafter,” he said.
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has pegged a budgetary allocation of about ₹4.56 lakh crore for the infrastructure sector, including roadways, railways, shipping and aviation.
“Infrastructure is the backbone of any nation’s development and quality of life. Whether it is highways or railways or airways or even digi-ways, we have gone beyond incremental growth to attain transformative achievements,” Goyal said.
For the road transport sector, the budget estimate is pegged at ₹83,015.97 crore, an increase of ₹4,390.47 crore over the previous financial year’s allocation.
“Today, India is the fastest highway developer in the world with 27 kms of highways built each day. Projects stuck for decades like the Eastern Peripheral Highway around Delhi or the Bogibeel rail-cum road bridge in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh have been completed,” Goyal said.
Under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), construction of rural roads has been trebled, Goyal said adding 15.80 lakh habitations out of a total of 17.84 lakh habitations have already been connected with ‘pucca roads’.
The scheme got an allocation of ₹19,000 crore in budget estimate (BE) 2019-20 as against ₹15,500 crore in revised estimate (RE) 2018-19.
“There was time when a child used to reach school after walking on a foot trail, today the situation has changed and a bus can reach her/his village. During the period 2014-18, a total number of 1.53 crore houses have been built under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY),” Goyal said.
The flagship housing scheme comes under the ambit of the ministry of urban development, for which an allocation of ₹48,032.17 crore has been earmarked as against ₹42,965.13 crore in the previous fiscal.
Laying stress on sea and inland waterways development, Goyal said, “The flagship programme of Sagarmala [a mega port development project] along the coastal areas of the country will develop ports for faster handling of import and export cargo. For the first time, container freight movement has started on inland waterways from Kolkata to Varanasi.”
However, budgetary allocation for the shipping ministry has declined. The ministry has allocated ₹1,902.56 crore as against ₹1,938.76 crore in the previous fiscal.
The government also laid emphasis on infrastructure development in the north-east. “The people of north-east have also received significant benefits of infrastructure development. Arunachal Pradesh came on the air map recently and Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram have come on India’s rail map for the first time. Allocation for the north-eastern areas is being proposed to be increased by 21% to ₹58,166 crore in 2019-20 BE over 2018-19 BE,” Goyal said.