By KSHITISH NADGAUDA
Senior Vice President | Managing Director - Asia, Louis Berger
As the backbone of any economy, impetus to infrastructure is one of the key tools to give the economy a solid boost. It is one of the surest ways for an economic rebound, especially after the global health crisis which has slowed down and crippled many economies.
Infrastructure has been a key focus area of the government. It was therefore encouraging to see it amongst the top 2 pillars of the Budget for FY21-22 as announced earlier today by the Honourable Finance Minister, Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman.
In particular, we welcome the focus on continued investment in the development of urban mass transit (Metro Rail) projects in India. Such mass transit projects are vital to realize multiple benefits such as reduction in air pollution, time saving for commuters, reduction in accidents, reduction in traffic congestion, fuel savings, etc.
The announcement of the central fiscal funding for Metro Rail projects showcases the government’s continued focus on Metro connectivity. We welcome this move and believe that this will lead to building safe, world-class transportation facilities which would be availed of by the common man.
We also welcome the proposals of the continued development of Economic Corridors. These road and highway projects will boost the economy by creating thousands of jobs that are much needed during these times and attracting greater investment along the corridors because of the improved infrastructure.
Additionally, the soon-to-be-tabled bill on DFI (Development Financial Institution) is a much awaited step which will provide funding to construction in the Infrastructure sector. Additionally, we welcome the announcement of the new 11,000 km of proposed roads and highways in the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and West Bengal. We would urge similar investment in other states.