New Delhi, Feb 1 (PTI) Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said national highways will be expanded by 25,000 kilometres (km) during 2022-23 and the national ropeway development programme will be taken up in the public-private partnership (PPP) mode.

Sitharaman announced this while presenting the Budget 2022-23 in Parliament.
She also said contracts for the implementation of multimodal logistics parks at four locations through the PPP mode will be awarded in 2022-23.

The finance minister said Rs 20,000 crore will be mobilised through innovative ways of financing to complement the public resources.

“PM Gati Shakti Master Plan for Expressways will be formulated in 2022-23 to facilitate the faster movement of people and goods. “The national highways network will be expanded by 25,000 km in 2022-23,” she added.

The minister said that as a preferred ecologically sustainable alternative to conventional roads in difficult hilly areas, the National Ropeways Development Programme will be taken up on the PPP mode.

She added that the aim is to improve connectivity and convenience for commuters, besides promoting tourism.

Sitharaman said contracts for eight ropeway projects for a length of 60 km will be awarded in 2022-23.Commenting on the Union Budget 2022-23, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said this year’s Budget has given the highest priority for the development of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and farmers.Gadkari also said the Budget has also given priority to the infrastructure sector.He noted that the National Ropeways Development Programme will benefit North East, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir.The Union Budget 2022-23 has provided an enhanced outlay of Rs 1.99 lakh crore for the highways sector.An allocation of Rs 1.18 lakh crore was made for the highways sector for 2020-21, which was revised to Rs 1.31 lakh crore.

  The International Road Federation (IRF) in a statement welcomed the stepped-up investment on highways and infrastructure projects in the Union Budget for the year 2022-23.

IRF also welcomed the thrust of the Budget on seven growth engines of PM Gati Shakti, including roads, railways, airports, ports, mass transport, waterways and logistics. 

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