The government is committed to invest more in the infrastructure sector through schematic interventions like Bharatmala and has adopted a multi-pronged strategy to address infra issues, the Economic Survey said today. Apart from formulating ambitious Bharatmala project for enhanced highway connectivity, it restructured road projects worth Rs 1 lakh crore and looks forward to enhance Indian air carriers' share in international traffic besides promoting waterways and improving railways, it said. "To maintain the momentum of higher economic growth... Of an emerging economy like India, it is indispensable to invest more on infrastructure sector.
The Government is committed to invest more on qualitative infrastructure with an aim to make India an advanced, inclusive and a just economy, Economic Survey Volume II tabled in Parliament said. Terming India's leap to 36th rank in 2016 from 58th in 2014 in World Bank's 2016 Logistics Performance a "remarkable achievement", the government said the "infrastructure sector is still facing multiple issues, for which the Government has adopted a multi-pronged strategy to address them through various schematic interventions like UDAN and Bharatmala." The Survey said it is imperative to increase investment in infrastructure considering its deficit and has proposed Bharatmala. Bharatmala, apart from enhancing road infra, will see "development of Economic Corridors/ Feeder routes, removal of choke and congestion points, construction of ring roads, logistics parks, etc," it said. Mentioning initiatives to develop railways, the report said it should go for more non-fare sources for generating revenue along with station re-development and commercially exploiting vacant buildings at the station, monetising land along tracks by leasing out to promote horticulture and tree plantation, and through advertisement and parcel earnings. The Government has unveiled an ambitious plan to provide electricity supply for all by 2019, it said. Terming cities as "engines of growth", the report said that smart cities are planned under the urban infrastructure sector. "A total investment of Rs 1,33,368.5 crore has been proposed by the 60 cities under their smart city plans. Projects focusing on revamping an identified area (Area Based Projects) are estimated to cost Rs 1,05,621 crore," it said.
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