Laying emphasis on the country’s infrastructure sector passing through tough times, the Finance Minister has identified roads and public-private partnership (PPP) mode projects for special thrust.

In his effort to address concerns of the road sector and glitches in PPP mode projects, the FM has announced a huge investments and a number of initiatives for investments to accelerate the growth of the sector while addressing the concerns of the sector players.

Rural infra Focussing on rural infrastructure, the budget has allocated ₹19,000 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana to connect remaining 65,000 habitations.

It allocated ₹55,000 crore in the budget for roads and highways and it is proposed to be further top this up with additional ₹15,000 crore to be raised by NHAI through bonds. Along with PMGSY (₹19,000 crore), the allocation for the development of Roads is ₹97,000 crore during 2016-17.

If the capital expenditure of the Railways is clubbed with the investments in the roads sector, together it adds up to ₹2,18,000 crore, a major boost for the infrastructure.

The Finance Minister said 10,000 km of national highways are expected to be implemented during 2016-17. And the current pace of construction of roads is pegged at 100 km a day.

In addition, to augment infrastructure spend, the government expects to permit mobilisation of additional ₹31,300 crore by NHAI, PFC, REC, IREDA, Nabard and Inland Waterways Authority through raising of Bonds.

Port sector In the port sector, the Finance Minister mentioned the Sagaramala project which has already been rolled out and the need to develop new Greenfield ports. Mentioning about the need to work on national waterways, he said ₹800 crore has been provided to support these initiatives.

The FM outlined plans to address the Civil aviation sector by reviving unserved and underserved airports. Some 160 airports and airstrips have been identified to be under the State Governments which can be revived at an indicative cost of ₹50 crore to ₹100 crore each.

It is proposed to amend the Motor Vehicles Act to open up the road transport sector in the passenger segment.

E Sudhir Reddy, CMD of IVRCL, said, “The government needs to walk the talk when it comes to addressing concerns of the PPP mode infra projects. A number of companies have been struck with PPP projects and their balance sheets have been stretched. Both the developers and the bankers are not seen in good light due to these projects.”