Acknowledging the importance of infrastructure for making India a US$ 5 trillion economy by 2024, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday announced several measures to boost the infrastructure in the country.
(Highlights of India Budget 2019-20 | Full Coverage)
The budget speech emphasised on providing a massive push to all kinds of physical connectivity by taking forward programmes across various key sub-sectors such as roads, rail, inland waterways and air connectivity. These include public-private partnership for developing of railway tracks and rolling stock, 100% FDI in aviation sector, focus on metro and sub-urban railways and inland waterways to reduce the logistic costs.
"Railways will be encouraged to invest in suburban railways through special purpose vehicles (SPVs) and enhance metro rail network through PPPs," said Finance Minister.
Peeyush Naidu, Partner, Deloitte says, “The budget speech duly emphasised the importance of infrastructure and connectivity to the Indian economy – in terms of enhancing and taking forward programs across various key infrastructure sub-sectors. While budgetary allocations and priorities will have to be studied in detail, I believe that the budget’s focus on comprehensive plans and blue prints for various infrastructure plans/grids is a welcome one – especially in the context of considering systemic trade-offs and development of economic and efficient infrastructure, and involving private sector in this area in a bigger way on a long-term basis.”
Amit Gupta, director, Deloitte, says the India budget 2019 places holistic focus on demand for connectivity across rural and urban markets. Encouragement of RRTS, metro rail, and TOD is expected to improve connectivity to congested urban agglomeration and foster development outside cluttered city centres, key to success however lies in leveraging private sector developments and ensuring co-ordination across multiple development authorities and alignment of objectives.
Similarly building large infrastructure projects and affordable housing on large and parcels through pooling/joint models by central/state agencies, as announced in the budget, will need leadership and monitoring possibly through empowered programme/project focused agencies.