Union Budget 2021 Reaction of Metro & Railway Industry Leaders

The Budget has given much-needed impetus to Metro & Railway sector that will create a unified market in India for seamless movement of passengers across the country.

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Union Budget 2021 Reaction
Union Budget 2021 Reaction

Metro Rail News (NEW DELHI): While announcing a record amount of ₹1,10,055 crores for the Indian Railways in this year’s Union budget, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday that the Centre would work towards raising the share of public transport in urban areas through the expansion of metro rail networks. A total of 702 kilometres (kms) of the conventional metro was operational and another 1,016 kms of metro and Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) was under construction in 27 cities, she added

Further expanding her announcement on the budget allocation towards the country’s metro rail network, Sitharaman said that two new technologies- MetroLite and MetroNeo will be deployed to provide metro rail systems at a much lesser cost in Tier 2 cities and peripheral areas of Tier 1 cities too. “MetroLite and MetroNeo will be deployed to provide metro rail systems at much lesser costs with the same experience, convenience and safety in Tier 2 cities and peripheral areas of Tier 1 cities also,” she said during her budget presentation.

Sitharaman pointed out that central counterpart funding would be provided to Kochi Metro Railway Phase 2- of 11.5 kms at a cost of ₹1,957.05 crores and Chennai metro railway Phase 2 of 118.9 kms at a cost of ₹63,246 crores. The Bengaluru Metro Project- Phase 2A and 2B of 58.19 kms will be provided funding of ₹14,788 crores. While the Nagpur Metro Project Phase 2 and the Nashik Metro Project would be provided amounts of ₹5,976 crores and ₹2,092 crores respectively,

Out of the record sum of ₹1,10,055 crores allocated towards Railways in the budget, ₹1,07,100 crores was towards capital expenditure only, Sitharaman said adding that a National Rail Plan for India 2030 had been prepared.

Union Budget 2021 Reaction of Industry Leaders

Here is how Industry leaders from Metro & Railway sectors responded to it and shared their opinions.

Kshitish Nadgauda, Senior Vice President | Managing Director – Asia, Louis Berger Said:-

“As the backbone of any economy, impetus to infrastructure is one of the key tools to give the economy a solid boost. It is one of the surest ways for an economic rebound, especially after the global health crisis which has slowed down and crippled many economies. Infrastructure has been a key focus area of the government. It was therefore encouraging to see it amongst the top 2 pillars of the Budget for FY21-22 as announced earlier today by the Honourable Finance Minister, Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman.

In particular, we welcome the focus on continued investment in the development of urban mass transit (Metro Rail) projects in India. Such mass transit projects are vital to realize multiple benefits such as reduction in air pollution, time saving for commuters, reduction in accidents, reduction in traffic congestion, fuel savings, etc.  The announcement of the central fiscal funding for Metro Rail projects showcases the government’s continued focus on Metro connectivity. We welcome this move and believe that this will lead to building safe, world-class transportation facilities which would be availed of by the common man.

We also welcome the proposals of the continued development of Economic Corridors. These road and highway projects will boost the economy by creating thousands of jobs that are much needed during these times and attracting greater investment along the corridors because of the improved infrastructure. Additionally, the soon to be tabled bill on DFI (Development Financial Institution) is a much awaited step which will provide funding to construction in the Infrastructure sector. Additionally, we welcome the announcement of the new 11,000 km of proposed roads and highways in the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and West Bengal. We would urge similar investment in other states.”

Mr Himanshu Chaturvedi, Chief Strategy Officer, Tata Projects Ltd Said:-

We believe that robust infrastructure is a pre-requisite for national development, economic growth and improving lives of citizens. Hence, it is good that the government has reiterated its commitment to achieving targets laid out under the national infrastructure pipeline.

But creation and augmentation of infrastructure requires long term financing at reasonable rates. The setting-up of a professionally managed Development Financial Institution with targeted lending portfolio of Rs five lakh crores within three-years is therefore a welcome move since it shall act as a provider, enabler and catalyst for infrastructure financing.

The sharp increase in capital expenditure to Rs 5.54 lakh crores which is 34.5 per cent more vis-à-vis current year showcases that the government’s focus is upon infrastructure and allied sectors.

In addition, the Rs 2 lakh crores being provided to States and Autonomous Bodies for their capital expenditure will further reinvigorate infrastructure creation at the state governmental level across India. This is especially important since the financial health of states and autonomous bodies have been hit badly due to the pandemic thereby restricting their ability to upgrade and augment infrastructural amenities.

Focus on national highway corridors, railway lines including electrification, and metro rail lines will lead to easier and cost effective transport of people and goods across the nation.

The Rs 2,87,000 crore Jal Jeevan Mission (Urban), which aims at universal water supply in all 4,378 Urban Local Bodies with 2.86 crores household tap connections, as well as liquid waste management in 500 AMRUT cities will provide enormous opportunities in this important sector.

The AtmaNirbhar Bharat – Production Linked Incentive scheme wherein the government has committed nearly Rs. 1.97 lakh crores, over five-years starting FY 2021-22 will be a game changer, especially since it will provide a major fillip to construction of industrial and manufacturing facilities – both greenfield and brownfield.

Continuation of tax benefits for affordable housing and tax exemption to rental housing will spur activity in the realty sector thereby providing support to a key industry and creating thousands of new jobs.

The long term prospects of India’s construction and infrastructure sector was always good because the nation needs better and augmented infrastructural amenities. With the impetus provided in this budget through policy and financial support – it will usher in higher growth across the construction and infrastructure sector.

Mr. Ashish P. Dhakan, MD & CEO, Prama Hikvision India Pvt. Ltd.

The Union Budget FY 2021-22 is a transformative budget with positive resolve for India to grow further with a vision of the AtmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyan that compliments the ‘Make-in-India’ initiative of the Government. AtmaNirbhar Bharat is an expression of 130 crore Indians, who have full confidence in their capabilities and skills. The Union Budget has identified the six pillars of Atmanirbhar Bharat’s vision. On behalf of Prama Hikvision, we welcome the progressive and visionary budget and look forward to economic growth and stability.

The budget has sincere intent to provide momentum to strengthen local manufacturing capabilities. The Production Linked Incentive scheme (PLI) is a welcome move by the government. The review of the customs duty structure is clearly seen as a move towards promoting the domestic manufacturing. We hope that the review of the custom duty structure will be done after extensive consultation with the key stakeholders.

The move to strengthen the overall research ecosystem to boost innovation and R&D in the country, an outlay of Rs 50,000 crore, is being announced, for National Research Foundation. It is a big step for accelerating innovation and R&D in India. The budget clearly shows government’s mega thrust on developing Infrastructure, Road Transport, Waterways, Airports, Railway, Metro Rail, ‘MetroLite’ and ‘MetroNeo’. It is commendable for its inclusive growth agenda, overall a gradual step toward Atmanirbhar Bharat.

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