By Virendra D Mhaiskar
For any economy, a healthy GDP growth is the result of strategic focus on fiscal prudence and comprehensive development driven by a strong push on infrastructure development — particularly the highways infrastructure sector. Roads play a dominant role in a nation’s development as they create abundant comprehensive growth opportunities to uplift local communities, provide efficient connectivity for movement of goods, people and services.
This is amply reflected in strategic focus laid on highways infrastructure development in the Budgets over the last few years, be it through the greenfield projects or via widening of the existing infrastructure; be it either through the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIPL) or Bharatmala Pariyojana or PM Gati Shakti; be they facilitate connectivity between cities or regions or exist as border infrastructure. The well-focused network creation of the roads and highways is yielding visible as well as invisible benefits to the stakeholders who are investing their resources in the sector.
This is also visible in the Economic Survey, which showed a rapid rise in national highways (NHs)/roads construction with 10,457 kms NHs/roads constructed in FY22 against 6,061 kms in FY16.In this Budget as well, the finance minister has confirmed impetus on containing fiscal deficit while committing enhanced capex to spur overall economic growth.
It is a noteworthy allocation of Rs 10 trillion for entire infrastructure sector — an increase of 33%+, of which roads & highways have been earmarked a pie of Rs 2.7 trillion. We are very excited and motivated with this huge opportunity created which looks to be aimed at providing a strong booster for not only the entire sector and economy per se; but for the players in the sector too. We eagerly await the details and plans.
In nutshell, the Budget seems to be a promising step towards making India a Rs 5-trillion economy through continued focus on infrastructure sector. It has given a booster vaccine to facilitate the faster economic growth of the Nation; roads are definitely one of the prominent sectors to be given well-deserved focus through adequate funding.I take this opportunity to welcome the Budget and congratulate the finance minister, her team and the government for continued focus on infrastructure sector as a key driver to achieve set goals.
Author is CMD, IRB Infra Developers. Views are personal.