The budget for 2022 has given momentum to already growing national infrastructure and the government has cleared that infrastructure development will be a major part of its capital expenditure for the years. While the impact of this on business and economy in terms of logistical and transportation convenience has been widely discussed, infrastructure enhancing connectivity in a large diverse nation has positive effects on the economy as well.

India has been known for its diversity since its inception and its diversity in languages, cultures, and communities has been a major impetus for its tourism as well. As much as we celebrate our diversity, it is no surprise that a diverse population can be challenging for economic development with different communities giving priority to different aspects of governance and development. Diverse communities are also vulnerable to manipulation from external agents and slowed development due to a lack of policies that can satisfy all communities.

In such a situation, if the diverse community is geographically unconnected as well, the hindrance to economic development is even greater. There have been several pieces of independent research that take ahead the idea that unity among citizens of a country is a prerequisite for economic development. A united population is less suspicious of productive activities carried out across different communities and supports the progress of the entire nation as opposed to scattered, community-specific development.

Against this backdrop, the progress in the construction of national highways and the plans for the development of the country’s river system should be seen as the government taking ahead national unity and integrity which in turn has immense economic benefits. The PM GatiShakti National Master Plan was among one of the four pillars of the budget 2022 while connecting remote border villages has emerged as a priority through the New Vibrant Villages Programme. These initiatives are sure to break any regional inhibitions towards development by ensuring that the fruits of development reach communities throughout the country. Infrastructure development, in this way, is an essential factor in ensuring inclusive development. 

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