Mukherjee allocates Rs1,73,552 crore for infrastructure development

Finance minister, Pranab Mukherjee while presenting the budget proposals for FY2010-11 has announced a provision of Rs1,73,552 crore for infrastructure upgradation in both rural and urban areas. This amounts to over 46 per cent of the total plan allocation for infrastructure development in the country.

Emphasising the pivotal importance of physical infrastructure and the need to boost its development Mukherjee said high quality physical infrastructure such as roads, ports, airports and railways, was essential to sustaining economic growth. He  announced an increase in the allocation towards road transport by over 13 per cent, from Rs17,520 crore to Rs19,894 crore. He added that this was required to step up the pace of implementation especially for projects being executed through Public Private Partnerships (PPP).

Under the provisions the minister has allocated Rs16,752 crore for railways modernisation and network expansion. This is about Rs950 crore higher than last year's allocation, which also was a substantial increase in the budgetary support to railways.

By way of complementing the dedicated freight corridor, the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project has been taken up for integrated regional development with completion of preparatory activities for setting up six industrial investment nodes with eco-friendly worldclass infrastructure.

Mukherjee said that disbursements by the India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL), established by the government to extend long-term financial assistance to infrastructure projects, are expected to touch Rs9,000 crore by the end-March 2010 and Rs20,000 crore by March 2011. IIFCL has also been authorised to refinance bank lending to infrastructure projects and is projected to more than double the current year level of refinance at Rs3,000 crore in 2010-11. The last budget had provided for take-out financing scheme which is expected to initially provide finance for about Rs25,000 crore in the next 3 years.

A total budgetary support of Rs12,000 crore has been made for development of roads in rural areas including bridges. Included in this is a provision of Rs1,114 crore towards North-Eastern region and Sikkim.

The provision which has been made under the Department of Rural Development for Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) is expected to cover 1.67 lakh habitations  and involve the construction of 3,65,279 kms of roads for new connectivity and 3,68,000 kms under upgradation at an estimated to cost Rs1,32,000 crore at 2004-05 prices.

To achieve Bharat Nirman targets, 1,46,185 kms of road length has been proposed to be constructed by 2012 to cover 54648 unconnected eligible habitations in the country. Farm to market connectivity is also being sought to be ensured with the upgradation of 1,94,130 kms of existing associated Through Routes.