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The 18 big announcements of the 2018 Budget!

Budget 2018
Anushree Ghosh

The future of India’s democracy will again go through a decisive stage in the 2019 polls; therefore NDA’s last budget was the most awaited and critical one. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget 2018-19 with a significant stress on the infrastructural development, very similar to the 2017 budget plans. Although no new projects were announced

but the overall investment on infrastructural development was increased 25%. The Union budget inclined more towards ‘living comfort, shifting slightly from the concept of ‘business development’ from the previous years.
Budget 2018 focused on different aspects of agriculture and on the development of rural areas, health, and education infrastructure. The government allotted a huge sum of INR 5.97L crore for the infrastructural development of the country with an intention to put India on a competitive platform, which must also contribute in generating more jobs in various sectors.
As published by ‘The Economic Times’ on Feb 1, 2018, Mr. Jaitley said, “Infrastructure is the growth driver of the economy. Our country needs massive investments estimated to be in excess of Rs 50 lakh crore in infrastructure to increase the growth of GDP, connect and integrate the nation with a network of roads, airports, railways, ports and inland waterways and to provide good quality services to our people. 

The major announcements in the infrastructural sector are:

Aviation

  1. In order to enhance the existing flight connectivity, the government plans to expand the capacity of the Indian airports to more than five times.

  2. 1,014.09 crore of investment was announced for the restoration of 50 airports, and 31 helipads that are currently not serving will be revived for usage. Also, aviation facilities in the north-eastern states would receive special attention.

  3. Air India received a funding of Rs. 650 crore.

  4. Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Udaan Academy and National Aviation University received INR 50 crore for development.

Railway

  1. An investment of 1.48 trillion was announced for Indian railways.

  2. The primary areas of focus for capacity expansion will be track doubling, conversion to broad gauges, reviving railway stations that needs work, installation of Wi-Fi, CCTV, and escalators in the railway stations that receive footfalls of more than 25,000.

  3. Mumbai suburban rail and Bengaluru metro rail received special attention.

Roads

  1. INR Rs 21,453.42 crore was allocated to the Highway Ministry, and National Highways will be further developed as per the requirement.

Health

  1. 24 new government medical colleges will be set up.

  2. 5 new health care centers will be built for the free diagnosis and treatment of the citizens.

Education

  1. INR 1 trillion was allocated to revive the condition of the higher educational institutes of the country.

  2. A new scheme Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE) was launched for funding the government institutes dedicated for providing higher educational facilities.

  3. A budget for increasing e-learning facilities was significantly reduced in the new budget.

Defence

  1. Rs 2.95 lakh crore was allocated for the defence infrastructural development.

  2. Improving the connectivity on the Indian borders remains one of the primary areas of interest.

Telecom

  1. INR 10,000-crore was allocated for the extension of telecom infrastructure.

  2. The government plans to install 5 lakh Wi-Fi hotspots to make internet accessible to the rural citizens of India.

  3. 5G centers will be established with the help of IIT-Madras.

Anushree is a versatile writer, theatre actress with an immense passion for any form of art. Her blogs will take you through the different horizons of infracultural stories.

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