New Delhi [India], Feb 1 (ANI): The Modi government's last full budget saw the transport sector getting an all-time-high allocation of Rs 1,34,572 crores.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also showed confidence in the recently approved 'Bharatmala Pariyojana', reiterating the aim to develop about 35,000 kilometers of highways at a cost of Rs. 5,35,000 crore in Phase I.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHI) will consider organizing its road assets into Special Purpose Vehicles and use innovative monetizing structures like Toll, Operate and Transfer (TOT) and Infrastructure Investment Funds (InvITs) for raising funds, Jaitley said.
The government has also enhanced allocation for the Infrastructure Sector, recognizing its role as the growth driver of the economy.
The budgetary and extra budgetary expenditure for the sector has been increased from Rs.4.94 lakh crore in 2017-18 to Rs.5.97 lakh crore in 2018-19.
In the urban infrastructure sector, the government proposes to develop ten prominent tourist sites as iconic tourism destinations through holistic infrastructure and skill development.
In addition, tourist amenities will be upgraded at 100 Adarsh monuments of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
Jaitely also lauded the work being done under the government's inter linked programs - Smart Cities Mission and the AMRUT.
He informed that 99 cities have been selected with an outlay of Rs. 2.04 lakh crore under the Smart Cities Mission.
Projects worth Rs. 2350 crore have been completed and works of Rs. 20,852 crore are under progress.
The National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) has been taken-up to revitalize heritage cities.
Under AMRUT program, state level plans of Rs. 77,640 crore for 500 cities have been approved.
Water supply contracts for 494 projects worth Rs. 19,428 crore and sewerage work contract for 272 projects costing Rs. 12, 429 crore has been awarded.
482 cities have started credit rating and 144 cities have got investment grade rating.
Jaitely further announced that the government will leverage the India Infrastructure Finance Corporation Limited (IIFCL) to help finance infrastructure projects including investment in education and health infrastructure. (ANI)