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Union Budget 2018-19 Highlights: Infrastructure and Financial Sector Development

Athar Imam Raza

The IAS aspirants must read the important aspects of the Union Budget of the respective year. There is a huge chance of asking questions based on the topics of Union Budget presented by the Finance Minister of India.

Here, we have provided the highlights of the Union Budget 2018-19 for infrastructure and financial development sector can be very useful for the IAS Prelims as well as for the IAS Mains Exam.

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Union Budget 2018-19: Highlights of Infrastructure and Financial Sector Development

The Government has emphasised that infrastructure can play a driving force in the growth of the Indian economy. Here are the key highlights of infrastructure and financial sector development presented in the Union Budget 2018-19.

The Government has estimated that investment in excess of Rs.50 lakh crore is needed to increase the growth of GDP and connect the nation with a network of roads, airports, railways, ports and inland waterways.

The Government has announced an increase of budgetary allocation on infrastructure for 2018-19 to Rs.5.97 lakh crore against the estimated expenditure of Rs.4.94 lakh crore in 2017-18.

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In order to enhance public investment in rail and road sector, the Government has made an all-time high allocation to these sectors and the Prime Minister personally reviews the targets and achievements in infrastructure sectors on a regular basis.

The Government has introduced online monitoring system of PRAGATI and projects worth 9.46 lakh crore have been facilitated and fast-tracked.

In order to boost in the tourism sector in the country, Government has also proposed in the recent Union Budget to develop ten prominent tourist sites into Iconic Tourism destinations by following a holistic approach involving infrastructure and skill development, development of technology, attracting private investment, branding and marketing.
Under the Bharatmala Pariyojana, about 35000 kms road construction in Phase-I at an estimated cost of Rs.5,35,000 crore has been approved.

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Railway’s Capital Expenditure for the year 2018-19 has been pegged at Rs.1,48,528 crore and the large part of it devoted to capacity creation in the sector.

The electrified railway network of 4000 kilometres is slated for commissioning during 2017-18.

The dedicated Freight Corridors for the Eastern and Western Railways are in full swing.

The procurement of rolling stock – 12000 wagons, 5160 coaches and approximately 700 locomotives are to be done in an adequate number during 2018-19.

For the current fiscal year, the Union Budget has proposed the renewal target of over 3600 kms of railway tracks and redevelopment of 600 major railway stations is being taken up.

The Union Budget also proposed to develop 90 kilometres of double line tracks for the Mumbai’s local train network at a cost of over Rs.11,000 crore.

Apart from the double line tracks, an additional 150 kilometres of the suburban network is being planned for Mumbai locals at a cost of over Rs.40,000 crore, including elevated corridors on some sections.

A suburban network of approximately 160 kilometres at an estimated cost of Rs.17,000 crore is being planned to cater to the growth of the Bengaluru metropolis.

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Air Transport

Under the new initiative- NABH Nirman, the Government is planning to expand the airport capacity more than five-fold growth in passenger traffic to a billion trips a year.

Under the  Regional connectivity scheme of UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) initiated by the Government last year, 56 unserved airports and 31 unserved helipads would be connected.


To encourage raising funds from the bond market, the Finance Minister urged regulators to move from ‘AA’ to ‘A’ rating for investment eligibility.

The Government will establish a unified authority for regulating all financial services in International Finance Service Centre (IFSCs) in India.

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Digital Economy

To direct efforts in artificial intelligence (AI), NITI Aayog will initiate a national program which will serve the purpose to achieve goals of the digital economy in India.

Department of Science & Technology will launch a Mission on Cyber-Physical Systems to support the establishment of centres of excellence for research, training and skilling in robotics, artificial intelligence, digital manufacturing, big data analysis, quantum communication and internet of things.

The Budget doubled the allocation on Digital India programme to Rs 3073 crore in 2018-19.

To further Broadband access in villages, the Government proposes to set up five lakh wi-fi hotspots to provide internet connectivity to five crore rural citizens.

The Government has allocated Rs. 10000 crore in 2018-19 for creation and augmentation of Telecom infrastructure.

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