Budget 2021: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented Budget 2021 in the Parliament on February 1 and announced that the capital expenditure will be increased to ₹ 5.54 lakh crore, which is around 34 per cent higher than last year. Ms Sitharaman also expanded the National Infrastructure Pipeline to cover 7,400 projects by 2025. She announced the creation of a development finance institution called the National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development, with a capital base of ₹ 20,000 crore and a lending target of ₹ 5 lakh crore over a three-year horizon. Here's what urban planners, architects, and experts have to say on the budget allocation for the infrastructure sector. (AlsoRead: Budget 2021 Allocates ₹ 1.1 Lakh Crore For Indian Railways: What You Need To Know )
Amit Kapur, Joint Managing Partner, J Sagar Associates:
"The budget speech expectedly has given a strong signal for infrastructure development focusing on actualizing the ambitious national infrastructure pipeline targeting an investment of Rs.111 lakh crores over 5 years. The signal comes from the announced budgetary allocations and decisions (a) central allocation of Rs 5.54 lakh crores, (b) state allocations of Rs.2 lakh crores, (c) announcement to tap into budgetary resources of PSUs and wide-ranging InVITs monetising assets in highways, power transmission, gas pipelines, dedicated freight corridors, airport.
The devil lies in the details and the success in reviving the economy would depend on effective structural reforms in infrastructure sectors removing barriers to growth and how the government goes about monetising the land bank and assets held by PSUs.''
Dikshu Kukreja, Principal Architect and Urban Designer, CP Kukreja Architects:
"As India strides towards urban development and as the population of the country moves towards cities, with urban migration continuing unabated, it is expected that within the next ten years, 40 per cent of the country's population would be living in cities.
This means that we would be requiring a size equivalent to a new Chicago metropolitan area every year to take care of the large population accumulation due to this urban migration. It is therefore imperative that we spend the budget with a thrust on the urban improvement strategies, in addition to some policies which are already in place such as AMRUT, Smart Cities, etc.''