New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced several measures for the Infrastructure sector in the Union Budget 2021. Among the steps taken to revive the infrastructure sector to pre-COVID levels, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the government has proposed a sharp increase in capital expenditure at 5.54 lakh crore in 2022, which has been increased from Rs 4.39 lakh crore in 2021.

Sitharaman, while presenting the Union Budget 2021 in the Parliament, said that the government has also planned to boost the road infrastructure across the country and has aimed to complete 11,000 km of national highway infrastructure in 2021. Sitharaman also announced highways projects in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Assam. Notably, all these five states will go to polls later this year.

"Tamil Nadu will get Rs 1.03 lakh crore for building of 3,500 km of roads, Kerala will get Rs 65,000 crores for 1,500 km of roads and West Bengal will get Rs 95,000 crores for 675 km road. In Assam, 1,300 km roads will be constructed at a cost of Rs 3,400 crore," she said. 

"Over 13,000 km length of roads at a cost of Rs 3.3 lakh crores has already been awarded under Rs 5.35 lakh crore Bharatmala project of which 3,800 km have been constructed. By March 2022 we would be awarding another 8,500 km and complete an additional 11,000 km of National Highway Corridor," she added.

Sitharaman also said that five operational road projects are also being transferred to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). The cost of these road projects is estimated to be of Rs 5,000 crore. Sitharaman also said that transmission assets worth Rs 7,000 crore will also be transferred to Power Grid Corporation of India Limited.

The next lots of airports will be privatised in tier 2 and 3 towns and cities, the Minister said adding that the airports will be monetised for operations and management concessions.

"Seven port projects worth more than Rs 2,000 crore will be offered by major ports in a public-private partnership model, in FY 2021-2022, to move to a model where private partners will manage operations of ports," she said.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan