Topic 1: Budget on infrastructure
Introduction to the new Union Budget 2022-2023
As of February 1st. 2022, The Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman with Ministers of State for Finance put forward the budget for the year 2022-2023 starting 1st of April.
Amid the COVID situation, Nirmala Sitharaman has delivered a “nation-building Budget” focused on building a core infrastructure that is critical for growth in the economy and that provides allocation to crucial sectors like education, healthcare, construction, etc.
capital expenditure has been increased by up to 7.5 lakh crores for the year 2022-2023 (nearly a sharp increase of up to 35.4%). As mentioned by our finance minister, the primary focus of this budget is on the key growth engines such as building crucial infrastructure – ports, railways, roads, other logistics, etc.
This reform and investment will then be a good contribution to the movement of goods and services for economic expansion over the coming years.
Industrial and infrastructure companies in defense, space, housing and urban planning segments, hence, will be the biggest beneficiaries of this budget proposal.
The Rail Reform:
A 2,000 km of rail network with a developed technology will be constructed to prevent rail accidents and 400 new-generation high-speed Vande Bharat trains will be built over the next three years with the investment planned in the budget for better efficiency and better experience.
Adding to that, the railways are working on the development of new products and efficient logistics services for small farmers and SMEs to provide seamless solutions for movement of parcels.
The Union Budget 2022-2023 has proposed an allocation of ₹1.37 lakh crore for the Railways with a 14% higher capital expenditure over last year.
The objective is to use the funds to complete the ongoing projects and enhance amenities and safety during travel.
This increased allocation of budget for the railway sector focuses on capacity expansion and enhancement of security while undertaking new ‘supercritical’ projects.
PM GatiShakti National Master Plan:
The PM GatiShakti National Master Plan will focus on the economic transformation, seamless multimodal connectivity, and logistics efficiency. It is essentially a digital platform which will bring 16 Ministries including Railways and Roadways together for integrated planning and coordinated implementation of infrastructure connectivity projects. This will provide integrated connectivity for movement of people, goods, and services from one mode of transport to another.
By 2022-23, the National Highways network is projected to be expanded by 25,000 KM. An allocation of ₹20,000 crore has been proposed for the project.
The finance minister also announced that 100 new cargo terminals for multimodal logistics facilities will be developed in the next three years which will also come under the Gati Shakti plan.
Public Private partnership:
The finance minister said that for financing the infrastructure needs, stepping-up of public investment will need to be complemented by private capital at a significant scale. She quoted “Measures will be taken to enhance financial viability of projects including PPP, with technical and knowledge assistance from multilateral agencies,” in her budget speech.
In 2022-23, Contracts to be awarded for implementation of Multimodal Logistics Parks at 4 locations through PPP mode. Moreover, contracts for 8 ropeway projects totaling to length of 60 KM are also to be awarded under PPP mode as preferred ecologically sustainable alternative to conventional roads in difficult hilly areas.
Focus on Green Infrastructure:
The budget speech also focused on the use of green bonds which will be used for green infrastructure. Sovereign Green Bonds will be issued for mobilizing resources for green infrastructure and the proceeds will be deployed in public sector projects to reduce carbon intensity. This will also help in boosting the financing of clean energy projects.
In addition to that, there is an additional allocation of INR 19,500 crore for the PLI scheme for domestic manufacture of high efficiency modules in order to achieve a target of 280 GW of installed solar capacity by 2030. This is with priority to fully integrated manufacturing units from polysilicon to solar PV modules.
Check out this guide to Emerging Technologies in the Infrastructure Sector by CEAI on how the technologies have been evolving and technologies to look forward to in the infrastructure sector.