In the recent event of budget proposals, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways have asked for at least Rs. 90,000 crores from the Finance Minister in the current budget of 2017-18. The respective demand was followed by the lack of revenue for road and highway developments taking place across the nation and as per previous year’s road budget, it happened to be very low as per usage and demand. Also, the proposed budget for the current year 2017-18, which was reduced due to several issues, was asked to be increased thus making it a total of 90,904 crores INR.
The demanded budget will be used in the completion of ongoing highway projects as well as compensate for the toll revenue losses due to the demonetization probe. Denying the proposed budget, the Road Ministry have urged Finance department to allow a much higher amount of the actual revenue as the higher allocations will be used in to carry forward the ongoing work and compensate concessionaires who lost their entire amount in the withdrawal of tolling.
As per the outlay of Revised Estimate (RE) 2016-17, the proposed revenue has been reduced from Budget Estimate (BE) 2016-17. The respective proposed amount for road and highway budget has been 57, 976 crores in Revised estimate from 52,447 crores in Budget Estimate of 2016-17 as against the proposal of Rs. 62,489 crores to the Ministry of Road and Highways.
The current scenario, which is most likely to get approved, is the demand for Rs. 90,904 crores as of Budget Estimate for 2017-18 against the given amount of mere Rs. 58,362 crores from the Finance Ministry. The proposed reduction of the amount would act as a major hurdle in the ongoing progress of the several projects led across the nation thus taking a step back in achieving the targets as well as playing hard in the development of the nation.
Moreover, in the absence of assured funding the planning, preparing and awarding National Highway projects in a proper way would lack behind. The extension of the gestation period of 3 to 5 years would highly hamper the entire cost cut for the developmental projects undergoing in near about 36,500 km of National highways, which unduly cost near about 3 lakhs crores in total. The reduction in total revenue would be liable for the delays in thousands of projects under the Ministry of Roads and Highways.