Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Union budget: Rs 4 lakh crore likely for rail and highways in the coming fiscal year

Union budget: Rs 4 lakh crore likely for rail, highways next fiscal


Delhi, India: The highways and railway sectors are likely to receive the highest ever combined budget allocation of more than Rs 4 lakh crore. Sources told TOI that the road and railway ministries' allocations could rise by 20 to 30 percent given their spending history thus far.

Based on the current spending pattern, the Centre has allocated nearly Rs 2 lakh crore to the ministry of road transportation and highways during the current fiscal year. By the end of March, the total expenditures are likely to exceed Rs 2.1 lakh crore. According to sources from the government, the highway ministry and its wings, NHAI and NHIDCL, have a lot of work, so it will be able to spend more during the next fiscal year, when several highway projects that are still under construction are scheduled to be finished.

In the case of the railways, the government provided Rs. 1.4 lakh crore for the years 2022 and 2023. According to sources, the national transporter is likely to spend more than that by the end of March. It will have the potential to spend more money because there will be a greater focus on introducing more modern Vande Bharat trains, speeding up the program to electrify the track, and setting up more cargo terminals.

The allocation may be 25% higher than the BE of 2022-23, according to sources. They went on to say that one of the main priorities will be working on projects that will help the railways increase their share of freight transportation, which will help cut logistics costs in half.

The road transport and highways ministry is also seeking approval for the inclusion of approximately 7,000 km of new works and revised costs for Bharatmala phase 1, its flagship highway development program.

According to the sources, the revised cost of the ongoing and future works, which would be called Bharatmala-1A, would be around Rs 13 lakh crore.

The most visible development projects are road and rail projects, which create more direct jobs. Just before important elections, sources said that expanding highway and railway construction would create more jobs and help deflect criticism of job growth.

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