Union Budget 2017: Allocation For Highways Increased To Over 64,000 Crores
New Delhi: In what can be considered a much-required fillip to infrastructure and connectivity in India, the budget allocation for highways will be increased from 57,976 crores to 64,900 crores for the FY 2017-2018, said Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while presenting his fourth Union Budget in the Parliament today. Here are the other essential highlights pertaining to India’s road transport sector, from the budget speech.
1. Budget allocated for highways increased by 11.94 per cent compared to the last financial year.
2. In total, 2,41,387 crores have been announced for the transportation sector, which includes railways, roads, and shipping.
3. The pace of construction under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) was accelerated to 133 km roads per day in 2016-17, against an average of 73 km during 2011-2014. The Finance Minister also said that the total length of the roads, including that which has been built under the PMGSY from 2014 till now, is about 140,000 kms. This is higher than the previous three years.
4. 2,000 kilometers of coastal roads will be identified and constructed to ensure better connectivity of ports and remote areas in the country.
5. While speaking about the need to strengthen digital transactions and grievance handling, the Finance Minister also listed road transport offices as one of the institutions whose services the government would try and introduce facilities for digital payments, including the BHIM app.
India’s network of highways while making up a mere 1.7 per cent of total roads, carry 40 per cent of its traffic and 60 per cent of its freight, according to government estimates. The announcements in this Budget will hopefully give a boost to the growth of road infrastructure in the country.