In a move to allay industry's concerns that the government's austerity drive could crimp investments in crucial sectors like infrastructure, P Chidambaram said planned expenditure in the next financial year would be 29.4 per cent higher than the current year.
"I have provided sufficient funds to all ministries and departments, now it is up to the ministers to use these funds properly," the Finance Minister said in his Budget speech.
The Finance Minister categorically stated that his Budget had one objective -- creating jobs.
The infrastructure sector needs Rs 55 lakh crore, according to the 12th Five Year Plan, and the government will take steps to encourage private investment in the infrastructure sector.
It will set up a regulator for the road sector to help clear regulatory hurdles that players face. It also plans to build two new ports in Sagar Island, West Bengal, and in Andhra Pradesh.