Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today provided an enhanced outlay for the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) to push it to its highest level ever of Rs 1.18 lakh crore in the Union Budget.
MORTH will take up some big road highway projects this year. These include 3,500km of national highway in Tamil Nadu at an investment of Rs 1.03 lakh crore, 1100 km National Highway work in Kerala at Rs 55000 crore and 675 km National Highway work in West Bengal at cost of Rs 25000 crore.
National highway works of Rs 19,000 crore are currently in progress in Assam. Further works of more than Rs 34,000 crore covering more than 1300 km in NH will be undertaken in Assam in 3 years, Sitharaman informed.
The FM acknowledged that infrastructure projects will need huge funding. “The National Infrastructure Pipeline will require a major increase in funding from both the govt and financial sector. I propose to take concrete steps to do this in three ways. By creating the institutional structures, by monetising assets and by enhancing the share of capital expenditure in central and state budget”, Sitharaman added.
Accordingly, I would facilitate to set up a development financial institution. I have provided a sum of Rs 20,000 crore to capitalise this institution and the ambition is to have an lending portfolio of at least Rs 5 lakh crore within 3 years”, Sitharaman added.
The total expenditure on the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for 2020-21 was estimated at Rs 91,823 crore. This is 11 percent higher than the revised estimates for 2019-20. In 2020-21, capital expenditure is estimated at Rs 81,975 crore while revenue expenditure is estimated at Rs 9,849 crore.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her 2020-21 budget speech, “Accelerated development of highways will be undertaken. This will include development of 2,500 km of access-controlled highways, 9,000 km of economic corridors, 2,000 km of coastal and land port roads and 2,000 km of strategic highways”.
Sitharaman had added that the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway and two other packages would be completed by 2023 while the Chennai-Bengaluru expressway will be started. The minister had also said that 12 lots of highway bundles totaling Rs 6,000 crore would be monetised before 2024.
Laying the foundation stone for Rs 8341 crore road projects in Rajasthan in December Nitin Gadkari, minister of road transport and highways said that his ministry intends to complete 2,700 km length of national highways at a cost of Rs 35,000 crore by 2021-22. Another 2,500 km costing Rs 30,000 crore will be completed by 2023-24.
Detailed project report (DPR) for other projects of 2811 km worth Rs 50,000 crore is being prepared. This includes highway projects worth Rs 21,000 crore in Karnataka and Rs 8,528 crore projects in Maharashtra. A green field, Rs 6000 crore highway connecting Surat and Bengaluru via Nashik, Ahmednagar, Solapur, Hyderabad and Chennai is being planned.