Union Minister for MSME and Road Transport & Highways, Sh. Nitin Gadkari has welcomed the Voluntary Scrappage Policy announced in the Union Budget and said that declaration of the details of the policy will be done within 15 days from today. In his post-budget interaction with the media at his residence, Sh. Gadkari said that the scrappage policy will lead to new investment of around Rs.10,000 crores, and create as many as 50,000 jobs.
Impact of the Scrappage Policy On Auto Sector
The Minister said the policy would cover an estimated 51 lakh light motor vehicles (LMV) that are above 20 years of age, while another 34 lakh LMVs are above 15 years. It would also cover 17 lakh medium and heavy motor vehicles, which are above 15 years, and currently without valid fitness certificates. These vehicles are estimated to cause 10-12 times more pollution than the latest vehicles. Outlining the benefits of the policy, Sh. Gadkari said it would lead to the recycling of waste metal, improved safety, reduction in air pollution, reduction in oil imports due to greater fuel efficiency of current vehicles, and stimulate investment.
Sh. Gadkari also welcomed the increased outlay for the highways sector, to Rs. 1,18,000 crores, with the highest-ever capital investment of Rs.1,08,000 crores. While welcoming the increased allocation, the Minister said that the Ministry’s increased stress on the monetization of highways will help in expanding the road network in the country.
On Union Budget’s Highways & Road Infra Development
Expressing commitment to augment the country’s infrastructure, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said projects for building 8,500 km of highways will be awarded by March 2022. Union Minister Shri Gadkari said that the infrastructural projects announced by the Finance Minister as part of the central government will lay the foundation for ‘New India’ and improve the lives of its 130 crore citizens.
“Work is in progress on 217 projects worth Rs 1 lakh crore. With this, an investment of 5.54 lakh crores on important infrastructural sectors related to road, rail, electricity, health, education and farming – will prove to be a milestone,” he said.
In a series of tweets, Gadkari pointed out that infrastructural development is very important for the overall growth of the country.
FM Sitharaman announced that highway projects worth Rs 65,000 crore will be undertaken in Kerala. Besides, Rs 25,000 crore will also be spent in West Bengal.
FM alsoannounced an Rs 18,000-crore scheme to augment public transport in urban areas.
Last month, Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs Minister Nitin Gadkari had said his ministry aims at taking road building target to 40 km a day by March. He added that the NHAI has a target to build 60,000 km of highways in the next five years, including 2,500 km of express highways.
These include 9,000 km of economic corridors and 2,000 km each of strategic border roads and coastal roads. Besides these, 100 tourist destinations and 45 towns would be connected through highways.
Union Budget 2021 on Public Transport
He also highlighted the emphasis that the Union Budget 2021 put on improving public transport infrastructure.
“After approving the second phase of Nagpur Metro to be built at a cost of Rs 5,976 crore, the foundation for the new infra project has been laid in other cities of the country,” Shri Gadkari said.
The Union Minister also touched upon a host of issues highlighted in the Budget 2021, from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to the push towards ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.