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The Union Budget 2020 presented by Finance Minister on 1st Feb 2020, unveiled a series of far-reaching reforms, aimed at energizing the Indian economy through a combination of short-term, medium-term, and long-term measures.
The FM emphasized that a huge employment opportunity exists for India’s youth in construction, operation, and maintenance of infrastructure and National Skill Development Agency will give special thrust to infrastructure-focused skill development opportunities.
Road Transport and Highways Minister Mr. Nitin Gadkari said it has given a massive boost to investment in infrastructure, which in turn would help revive industrial production and generate employment opportunities, creating more than 2 crore jobs.
Union Budget 2020 Highlights
The key highlights of the Union budget 2020-2021 are as follows;
- 103 lakh crore infra projects besides providing about Rs 1.70 lakh crore for transport infrastructure and accelerating highways construction
- FM Said the focus is on infrastructure for economic development and 6,500 projects across sectors under National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) envisions ease of living for citizens.
- In his Independence Day speech 2019, Prime Minister had highlighted that Rs 100 lakh crore would be invested in infrastructure over the next 5 years.
- As a follow-up measure, FM had launched the NIP on December 31, 2019, of Rs 103 lakh crore. It consists of more than 6500 projects across sectors and is classified as per their size and stage of development
- About Rs, 22,000 crores have already been provided, as support to Infrastructure Pipeline
- These new projects will include housing, safe drinking water, access to clean and affordable energy, health-care, educational institutes, railway stations, airports, bus terminals, metro and railway transportation, logistics and warehousing, irrigation projects, etc.
- The National Infrastructure Pipeline envisions improving the ease of living for each individual citizen in the country, it will bring in generic and sectoral reforms in the development, operation, and maintenance of these infrastructure projects.
- FM proposes to provide about Rs 1.70 lakh crore for transport Infrastructure in 2020-21.
- Proposes to set up a project preparation facility for infrastructure projects. This program would actively involve young engineers, management graduates and economists from our Universities. It is also proposed to direct all infrastructure agencies of the government to involve youth-power in start-ups. They will help in rolling out value-added services in quality public infrastructure for citizens,”
- A National Logistics Policy will be released soon.
- Besides, accelerated development of highways will be undertaken which will include the development of 2,500-km access control highways, 9,000-km of economic corridors, 2,000-km of coastal and land port roads and 2,000-km of strategic highways.
- Delhi-Mumbai Expressway and two other packages would be completed by 2023 and work on Chennai-Bengaluru Expressway would also be started.
- Under electronic tolling on national highways, the FASTag mechanism enables greater commercialization of highways so that NHAI can raise more resources.
- Proposed to monetize at least twelve lots of highway bundles of over 6000-km before 2024.
- Indian Railways aims to achieve electrification of 27,000-km of tracks. Besides, more Tejas type trains will connect iconic tourist destinations and high-speed trains between Mumbai to Ahmedabad would be actively pursued.
- On ports, the government would consider corporatizing at least one major port and subsequently, it’s listing on the stock exchanges.
- Saying Inland Waterways received a boost in the last five years, the FM announced the JalVikasMargon National Waterway-1 will be completed and further, the 890 Km Dhubri-Sadiya connectivity will be done by 2022.
- About air traffic, 100 more airports would be developed by 2024 to support the Udaan scheme and it is expected that the air fleet number shall go up from the present 600 to 1,200 during this time.
- About Rs 22,000 crore to the power and renewable energy sector in 2020-21.
- Accelerated development of highways will be taken up with 2,500 km access-controlled highways and 9,000 km of an economic corridor
- the focus is also on Inland Waterways and Jal Vikas Marg development besides aviation.
The sector-wise detailed highlights of the union budget 2020-21 are as follows,
Education and Skills
- Rs. 99,300 crore for the education sector and Rs. 3000 crore for skill development in 2020-21.
- New Education Policy to be announced soon.
- National Police University and National Forensic Science University proposed for policing science, forensic science, and cyber-forensics.
- Degree level full-fledged online education program by Top-100 institutions in the National Institutional Ranking Framework.
- Up to 1-year internship to fresh engineers to be provided by Urban Local Bodies.
- The Union budget 2020 proposes to attach a medical college to an existing district hospital in PPP mode.
- Special bridge courses to be designed by the Ministries of Health, and Skill Development:
- To fulfill the demand for teachers, nurses, para-medical staff and caregivers abroad.
- To bring in equivalence in the skill sets of the workforce and employers’ standards.
- 150 higher educational institutions to start apprenticeship embedded degree/diploma courses by March 2021.
- External Commercial Borrowings and FDI to be enabled for the education sector.
- Ind-SAT proposed for Asian and African countries as a part of the Study in India program.
- Rs.100 lakh crore to be invested in infrastructure over the next 5 years.
- National Infrastructure Pipeline:
- Rs. 103 lakh crore worth projects; launched on 31st December 2019.
- More than 6500 projects across sectors, to be classified as per their size and stage of development.
- A National Logistics Policy to be released soon:
- To clarify roles of the Union Government, State Governments and key regulators.
- A single window e-logistics market to be created
- Focus to be on the generation of employment, skills and making MSMEs competitive.
- National Skill Development Agency to give special thrust to infrastructure-focused skill development opportunities.
- Project preparation facility for infrastructure projects proposed.
- To actively involve young engineers, management graduates and economists from Universities.
- Infrastructure agencies of the government to involve youth-power in start-ups.
- Rs.1.7 lakh crore proposed for transport infrastructure in 2020-21.
- Accelerated development of highways to be undertaken, including:
- 2500 Km access control highways.
- 9000 Km of economic corridors.
- 2000 Km of coastal and land port roads.
- 2000 Km of strategic highways.
- Delhi-Mumbai Expressway and two other packages to be completed by 2023.
- Chennai-Bengaluru Expressway to be started.
- Proposed to monetize at least 12 lots of highway bundles of over 6000 Km before 2024.
- Five measures:
- Large solar power capacity to be set up alongside rail tracks, on land owned by railways.
- Four station re-development projects and operation of 150 passenger trains through PPP.
- More Tejas type trains to connect iconic tourist destinations.
- High-speed train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad to be actively pursued.
- 148 km long Bengaluru Suburban transport project at a cost of Rs 18600 crore, to have fares on the metro model. Central Government to provide 20% of equity and facilitate external assistance up to 60% of the project cost.
- Indian Railways’ achievements:
- 550 Wi-fi facilities commissioned in as many stations.
- Zero unmanned crossings.
- 27000 Km of tracks to be electrified.
Ports & Waterways
- Corporatizing at least one major port and its listing on stock exchanges to be considered.
- Governance framework keeping with global benchmarks needed for more efficient sea-ports.
- Economic activity along river banks to be energized as per Prime Minister’s Arth Ganga concept.
- 100 more airports to be developed by 2024 to support the Udaan scheme.
- Air fleet numbers expected to go up from present 600 to 1200 during this time.
- “Smart” metering to be promoted.
- More measures to reform DISCOMs to be taken.
- Rs.22, 000 crores proposed for power and renewable energy sector in 2020-21.
- Expansion of national gas grid from the present 16200 km to 27000 km proposed.
- Further reforms to facilitate transparent price discovery and ease of transactions.
- Rs.103 lakh crore National Infrastructure Pipeline projects earlier announced.
- Rs 22,000 crore to cater to the equity support to Infrastructure Finance Companies such as IIFCL and a subsidiary of NIIF.
- IFSC, GIFT city: full of potential to become a center of international finance as well as a center for high-end data processing:
- An International Bullion exchange(s) to be set up as an additional option for trade by global market participants with the approval of the regulator.