Union Budget 2023: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday announced that it will add 50 new airports and water aerodromes and heliports to improve regional air connectivity. Sitharaman made the announcement while presenting the Union budget for 2023-24.
“Fifty additional airports, heliports, water aerodromes and advanced landing grounds will be revived for improving regional air connectivity,” Sitharaman said in her budget speech.
The government has been working on various initiatives to improve regional air connectivity, such as the UDAAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) scheme. It focuses on connecting Tier-2 and 3 cities. Almost close to 1.15 crore people have availed flights under the UDAAN scheme in the last six years. The government has allocated an amount of Rs 4,500 crores for the revival of neglected airports and airstrips of the state governments, as well as public sector undertakings, and civil groups.
She also mentioned that the government has identified over a hundred projects for improving transport infrastructure, including last and first-mile connectivity for various sectors such as coal, steel, and food grains.
In her address to the joint sittings of Parliament, Droupadi Murmu noted that the aviation sector is expected to grow rapidly.
The government has allocated an amount of Rs 4,500 crores for the revival of neglected airports and airstrips of the state governments, as well as public sector undertakings, and civil groups.
Here’s what industry experts said
Kshitish Nadgauda, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Louis Berger WSP said, “We welcome the government’s move of hiking the capital expenditure for infrastructure development by 33 percent to Rs 10 lakh crore. The Union Budget of 2023-24 presented by the Hon’ble FM is progressive, growth-oriented and inclusive with a major focus on infrastructure investment as one of the seven key priority areas for the coming fiscal year and have identified 100 top priority projects. The establishment of an infrastructure finance secretariat will further aid in attracting more private investment and streamlining public-private partnerships. Moreover, the setting up of the Urban Infrastructure Development Fund will provide an impetus to infrastructure development in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities across the country. This will accelerate the efficient use of land resources, enable adequate resources for urban infrastructure including transit-oriented development, enhanced availability and affordability of urban land, and, most importantly, job creation. It is widely accepted that such investment in infrastructure development especially urban mass transit enable urban centres to flourish and attract quality investment, and result in a vastly improved quality of life for residents. In addition, there are multiple other infrastructure outlays such as 50 new airports and heliports, coastal shipping, etc. which will enhance intermodal connectivity, which are significant steps in enhancing mass transit. These steps will help in achieving the expected goal of the $5 trillion GDP economy by 2024-25.”