This is a Budget with a clear vision to put India firmly in the Big League by 2022, the 75th year of Independence. The best takeaway from this Budget is the finance minister's conscious relaxation of the fiscal discipline targets in order to channelise more funds for creation of infrastructure. His emphasis on public sector units to step up investments in infrastructure is well received as it is the public sector which has to set the ball rolling. Apart from increased outlays for rail and road sectors, he also intends to mobilise resources for these and the irrigation sectors through tax-free bonds. The announcement of five new Ultra Mega Power Projects on plug-and-play mode and encouraging public sector ports to corporatise in order to attract investments and also leverage the huge idle land resources have been well received. The Budget also reflects his seriousness on how keen he is to make public-private partnership a success story for India's infrastructure sector and this will hopefully revive private sector interest.
In addition, the proposed National Investment & Infrastructure Fund with an annual outlay of Rs 20,000 crore from the Centre augurs well for the financing of infrastructure.
CMD, Srei Infrastructure Finance Limited
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