The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday will be presenting his maiden budget, and the infrastructure sector, which is the backbone of of the economy, has many expectations from the Modi government.
There in no doubt that the sector needs special attention for the nation's overall growth in order to sustain constant GDP growth rate. It is a difficult phase for the Indian economy as the GDP growth has been less than 5 per cent, while inflation is reaching new peaks every quarter. Keeping into mind the overall growth of the country, investment in infrastructure is required on a large scale. Over the past few years, the Indian government has been focusing on the infrastructure sector with better sanctions, but at the same time it's lurching due to the pressure of increasing population and policy barriers. Also, land acquisition and environment clearance are the two major issues that are hampering execution of projects to complete within time.
At large, it is widely expected that the finance minister will try and channelise funds towards the sector. Higher allocation for programs like Bharat Nirman, Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM), Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (APDRP) and to departments like National Highways Authority of India (NHDP) are expected.
Business firms want tax benefits on infra bonds to be revived again, and are expecting fast track courts to quickly decide cases related to infrastructure development. Also, investment in development of roadways, highways and ports is considered vital for the growth of transport and service industry.
The government is expected to focus on projects and reforms to make it easier to open and conduct business in India to attract investment.
In 2013-14 Union Budget, infrastructure got a major thrust as the Finance Minister P Chidambaram announced a great deal of activities to boost sector's growth, which included raising of Rs 50,000 crore through tax-free bonds.
To give a big push to the highways sector and to address issues adversely impacting the sector like financial stress and contract management, the road regulatory authority had been proposed.