The year 2019’s Union Budget was full of new hopes and expectations as the reign of the Modi government continued for the consecutive 2nd term. Another highlighting feature of the budget was that it was to be presented by India’s 1st female Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. 5th July 2019 was the date that marked the disclosure of the Government planning regarding the economy for the financial year. Coming to the infrastructural sector and its future planning as conceived by the government, it could be understood through a number of measures. The Government has allocated 100 lakh crore rupees in this regard. The measures taken by the Ministry can be jotted down under the following very important points.
- Pradhan Mantri Gram SadakYojana – It is a nationwide plan which was laid down by the Government to enhance better connectivity to the rural areas of the country. Better connectivity to rural untapped areas would also make these areas attractive to the industrialists. Thus improving the development of these areas. The Bharatmala Programme is intended to develop national highways and roads connecting all parts of the nation. The Sagarmala Programme is aimed to elevate the connectivity through waterways. Modern and up to date technology is put to use to carry out the programme. Moreover, industrialisation through waterways would also get a push through the initiative. The Jal Marg Vikas Project focuses on making internal trade conducted via inland water transportation easier & faster. It even aims to cut down and optimise the prices of water-based transport. The Ude Deshka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) Scheme would work to make transportation by air affordable so that it could be utilised by the common man. Moreover connecting various remote parts scattered all across the country through airways is a motive too.
- The Metro Rail Projects – The Metro railways is a massive boon for the commutation of the common man. Hustle free and traffic-free transport at affordable cost is provided by the Metro Rail Authority in major cities of India. The Projects aims to improve the present connectivity and increase further connectivity. 2018-19 budget approved 300 km length of route for the project. In 2019-20 about 210 km of metro rail lines are made operational now.
- Investment for innovative battery and government registered e-vehicle – E-vehicles are popularised to reduce the combustion of gas and oil and hence eliminate the release of harmful pollutants. The GST percentage on electrically operated vehicles has been reduced to 5% from the previous rate of 12%. Car loan availed before the dusk of the financial year 2023 on purchase of electric vehicles are subject to an income tax rebate of 1.5 lakhs.
- Roadways – Investment in the development of national as well as state roadways has been made. Various National Highways are introspected for improvements and restructure. The Government intends to elevate the Road & Infrastructural Cess and Special Additional Excise Duty on both diesel and petrol to 9 rupees/liter.
- Railways – The Government’s motive to undertake public-private partnership drives to help improve the development of railways is on a rise. Work to develop tracks is also on progress.