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Infra experts say Budgets sectoral focus to boost economy

Infra experts say Budgets sectoral focus to boost economy

Mumbai, Feb 1 (PTI) Terming the Budget as populist, infrastructure industry has welcomed the governments focus on the sector saying it will provide the necessary impetus, as the economy is pegged to grow at 7-7.5 per cent for 2018-19.

"It is fair to say that this years budget is a populist one, focusing on providing social security at the grass root level. The various announcements and funding provided are towards promoting the further growth of small scale industries as well as improving infrastructure, particularly across rural India," CBRE chairman, India and South East Asia Anshuman Magazine said.

In his budget, finance minister Arun Jaitley has pegged capex at Rs 1.48 lakh crore for Railways, while allocating Rs 6,602.86 crore for the aviation sector.

"The government has taken the onus of constructing 35,000 km of roads under the Bharatmala Pariyojana project for which the Budget allocated is Rs 5.35 lakh crore which aims to provide seamless connectivity in backward and border areas," Action Construction Equipment ED Sorab Agarwal said.

He further said the allocation of Rs 11,000 crore for Mumbai rail network will definitely create a positive impact for the infrastructure sector.

"The announcement of constructing 9,000 km national highways will create job opportunities," Agarwal added.

Hind Rectifiers CEO Suramya Nevatia said the Railways focus on modernisation of signalling and safety systems along with optimum electrification will not only enhance the efficiency but also move a large amount of trade traffic from road to railways.

"Most ancillary companies affiliated with rail infrastructure should benefit on account of this huge proposed capex allocated for rail infrastructure," he added.

Deloitte India Partner Peeyush Naidu said the budget has set the right course for the aviation sector.

"It reaffirmed commitment to sustaining the growth in the sector by focusing on substantial increase in airport capacity. UDAN is expanding the aviation network through a transparent market-based model as a result of which hitherto unserved airports and helipads will be connected by existing and new operators," he said.

The emphasis on building infrastructure with huge investments in railways, airways and highways is seen as a step forward in building seamless network for smooth functioning for all inter-city operations," SYSKA Group Director Rajesh Uttamchandani pointed out.

The government has estimated an investment of Rs 50 lakh crore in the infrastructure sector.

"Infrastructure has been recognised as a growth driver of the economy. The investments in infrastructure are estimated to be in excess of Rs 50 lakh crore. This will support the growth of GDP and connect and integrate the nation with a network of roads, airports, railways, ports and inland waterways," Blue Dart CFO Aneel Gambhir said.

With the announcement of 1.48 lakh crore allocated to Railways, the industry is hopeful to see a thrust on improving freight logistics apart from better passenger connectivity.

"This will help the logistics industry drive efficiency through rail networks in terms of costs and CO2 reductions as the current logistics movement is skewed towards road transport," Apollo LogiSolutions managing director, Raaja Kanwar said.

He further said the plan to expand the current 124 airports by five times seems skewed in favour of passenger movement, however, the development of airports across the board is a good to build a robust logistics network.

"We expect that freight movement is given due cognisance as well," Kanwar added.

According to realty sector expert Surendra Hiranandani, the massive push for improvement in infrastructure, including significant capital expenditure for roads, railways and development of smaller airports will indirectly benefit the real estate sector in the long run.

Savills India Country Manager ? Tenant Representation Bhavin Thakker said the extension of Rs 2000 crore to agricultural market and infrastructure fund will strengthen market connectivity, making real estate a preferred choice of investment not only in metros, but also in tier 2 and 3 cities. PTI PSK DSK DSK