Thursday, May 23, 2024

From railways modernisation to new airports, India’s infrastructure thrives under PM Modi: FM Nirmala Sitharaman – Infrastructure News

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in an interview on Wednesday (May 15) attributed the revival of the infrastructure sector to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hands-on approach and vigilant oversight. Sitharaman highlighted how the sector had languished under policy stagnation during the UPA regime. In stark contrast, she emphasised the current administration’s proactive stance, led by Modi, in prioritising infrastructure development and capital expenditure to fortify the Indian economy.

In a pointed critique of the Congress-led UPA regime spanning from 2004 to 2014, the finance minister lamented that the UPA’s failure to prioritise effective infrastructure development, emphasising that crucial areas such as roads, railways and power were neglected or mismanaged. Sitharaman underscored the detrimental impact of this deliberate oversight, stating that it not only hindered immediate progress but also undermined India’s long-term economic viability. She expressed these sentiments in a post on X. 

Infrastructure advancements under Modi government

The National Highway network has expanded by 60%, and Indian Railways has undergone modernisation with increased capital expenditure, including a 30-fold increase since 2004-05. The power sector has transformed from deficit to sufficiency, with substantial capacity additions and improvements in grid infrastructure.

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The Metro network has quadrupled, and significant progress has been made in the aviation sector, with the construction of 83 new airports and a doubling of operational airports since 2014. The maritime sector has also seen advancements, with the release of the ‘Maritime India Vision 2030’ blueprint and relaxation of FDI norms to attract investments.

Overall, Sitharaman highlighted the Modi government’s commitment to infrastructure development, contrasting it with the neglect observed during the UPA regime and underscoring the transformative impact on various sectors of the economy

‘PM Modi made infrastructure turnaround possible’

Sitharaman accused the UPA government of cost overruns, stalled projects and lack of timely approvals were common between 2004-14. Drawing a stark difference, she said, “Prime Minister Modi’s active role has made the infrastructure turnaround possible. PM has personally monitored the progress of projects, even those launched earlier, through the PRAGATI platform.”

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