Union Budget 2022-23: Today, FM Nirmala Sitharaman has announced the paperless Union Budget in the parliament for the financial year 2022-23. The Railway Budget, now merged with the General Budget, has seen many announcements to upgrade the Indian Railways network. Besides, the infrastructure sector is set for a massive boost with PM Gati Shakti Master Plan. This plan, according to the minister, would include higher spending for road, railways, ports as well as mass transport. The Finance Minister, in her Budget speech, said as many as 400 new Vande Bharat Express trains will be launched in a period of three years. The Vande Bharat trains (also known as Train-18) are indigenously developed semi high speed trains.
The Finance Minister has also announced that in order to increase the infrastructure spending as well as boost logistics, the Modi government will formulate the national master plan for expressways within this financial year. The PM Gati Shakti Master Plan for Expressways will facilitate faster movement of people and goods. The National Highways network will be expanded by 25,000 kilometres in fiscal 2022-23. According to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Indian Railways will develop new products as well as efficient logistics services for small farmers and also small and medium enterprises other than taking the lead in the integration of postals and Indian Railways network in a bid to provide seamless solutions for the movement of persons. Moreover, the minister further said that ‘One Station One Product’ will be popularised in order to help local businesses and supply chain.
The minister has also announced that the National Ropeways Development programme will be taken up on PPP mode in a bid to improve connectivity and convenience. Besides, this will also promote tourism. Also, contracts for as many as four multi modal logistic parks at four different locations through PPP mode will be awarded in the year 2022-23, the FM announced.