Budget 2023: Significant push to Infrastructure and Investment
Finance Minister listed seven key priorities of the Union Budget 2023 under the ‘Saptrishi’ mantras . One of these priorities is Infrastructure and Investment.
Investments have a powerful multiplier effect. They improve mobility, facilitate trade, lead to job creation, and boost overall economic productivity. As per the budget, “Capital investment outlay is being increased steeply for the third year in a row by 33 per cent to ₹ 10 lakh crore ($122 bn), which would be 3.3 per cent of GDP. This will be almost three times the outlay in 2019-20.” This will not just crowd-in private investments, enhancing growth potential and job creation, but also provide a cushion against global headwinds.
This is being complemented with continuation of the 50-year interest free loan to state governments for one more year to spur investment in infrastructure and to incentivize them for complementary policy actions, with a significantly enhanced outlay of ₹ 1.3 lakh crore ($16 Bn).
To enhance opportunities for private investment in infrastructure - Infrastructure Finance Secretariat is being established. The secretariat will assist all stakeholders for more private investment in infrastructure, including railways, roads, urban infrastructure, and power, which are predominantly dependent on public resources. Along with this a Harmonized Master List of Infrastructure will be reviewed by an expert committee for recommending the classification and financing framework.
India has become the third-largest aviation market in the world. The UDAN Yojana has played an important role in this regard. To give further impetus to aviation sector fifty additional airports, heliports, water aerodromes and advance landing grounds will be revived for improving regional air connectivity.
To further improve India’s logistics sector, one hundred critical transport infrastructure projects, for last and first mile connectivity for ports, coal, steel, fertilizer, and food grains sectors have been identified.
These budget provisions build on the government’s National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) combined with other initiatives such as ‘Make in India’ and the production-linked incentives (PLI) scheme to augment the growth of infrastructure sector.