Budget 2023: Highest ever capital outlay of Rs. 2.40 lakh crore for railway, focus also on shipping

Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has given highest ever capital outlay to Rs. 2.40 lakh crore to the railway in her 5th union budget, considering that investments in infrastructure and productive capacity have a large multiplier impact on growth and employment. After the subdued period of the pandemic, private investments are growing again. This was mentioned in the Union Budget Speech 2023-24 presented by Sitharaman in the Parliament, which inspired her to go for this move.

A capital outlay of ₹2.40 lakh crore provided for the Railways, is about 9 times the outlay made in 2013- 14. One hundred critical transport infrastructure projects, for last and first mile connectivity for ports, coal, steel, fertilizer, and food grains sectors have been identified. They will be taken up on priority with investment of ₹75,000 crore, including ₹15,000 crore from private sources. The Finance Minister further said that fifty additional airports, heliports, water aerodromes and advance landing grounds will be revived for improving regional air connectivity.

Sitharaman also mentioned that an expert committee will review the Harmonized Master List of Infrastructure. The committee will recommend the classification and financing framework suitable for Amrit Kaal.

Since, India is moving forward firmly for the ‘panchamrit’ and net-zero carbon emission by 2070 to usher in green industrial and economic transition. This budget builds on India’s focus on green growth. This was stated by Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the Union Budget 2023-24 in the Parliament.

Sitharaman proposed that coastal shipping will be promoted as the energy efficient and lower cost mode of transport, both for passengers and freight, through PPP mode with viability gap funding. The Finance Minister also mentioned that the states will be supported in replacing old vehicles and ambulances.

A part of the state’s outlay of fifty year loan to be spent on capital expenditure is also linked or allocated for scrapping old government vehicles as one of the seven purposes. Sitharaman further stated that replacing old polluting vehicles is an important part of greening our economy. In furtherance of the vehicle scrapping policy mentioned in Budget 2021-22, adequate funds have been allocated to scrap old vehicles of the central government.

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