International Road Federation welcomes infra push announced in Budget 2022
Global road safety body International Road Federation (IRF) has welcomed the decision of expansion of national highways announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Union Budget 2022. IRF has said that there was a need to give impetus to the infrastructure sector in view of its capital intensive nature.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 1st February 2022, announced during her budget speech that the government will focus on the expansion of national highways by 25,000 km across the country in 2022-23. She also announced that the government will mobilise ₹20,000 crore through innovative ways of financing to complement the public resources.
The IRF in an official statement has welcomed the stepped-up investment on highways and infrastructure projects. It said that the massive push to all kinds of mobile connectivity taking forward programmes across various key sub-sectors, such as roads, rail, inland waterways and air connectivity will enhance the transportation sector in the country.
"There was a dire need to give impetus to the infrastructure sector in view of its capital-intensive nature and a long-gestation period for infrastructure projects," IRF President Emeritus K K Kapila said in an official statement. Kapila also said that the augmented budgetary allocation of ₹20,000 crore for the expansion of 25,000 km of national highways would ensure the time-bound creation of world-class infrastructure and propel India's overall development.
The expansion of highway networks and improving road conditions would also result in demand creation in the transport sector, eventually increasing demand for vehicles across the country. Also, it will enhance road safety across India. Bad road conditions, narrow roads are among the key reasons behind the alarmingly high number of road accidents in India that cause a high number of deaths in the country.