Union Budget 2017: Focus on rural India and Infra spending


The Union Budget for 2017-18, has put emphasis on rural and infrastructure spending to revive the rural demand. The total allocation for infrastructure development in 2017-18 stands at Rs 3,96,135 crore. Of this, the transportation sector, including rail, roads, airports and shipping has seen budget provision of Rs 2,41,387 crore.


  • For 2017-18, the total capital and development expenditure of Railways has been pegged at Rs 1,31,000 crore. This includes Rs 55,000 crore provided by the Central government
  • Unmanned level crossings on Broad Gauge lines will be eliminated by 2020
  • In the next 3 years, the throughput is proposed to be enhanced by 10%. This will be done through modernisation and upgradation of identified corridors
  • Railway lines of 3,500 km will be commissioned in 2017-18, as against 2,800 km in 2016-17
  • Railways have set up joint ventures with 9 State Governments. 70 projects have been identified for construction and development
  • At least 25 stations are expected to be awarded during 2017-18 for station redevelopment. 500 stations will be made differently abled friendly by providing lifts and escalators
  • It is proposed to feed about 7,000 stations with solar power in the medium term. A beginning has already been made in 300 stations. Works will be taken up for 2,000 railway stations as part of 1000 MW solar mission
  • A new Metro Rail Policy will be announced with focus on innovative models of implementation and financing, as well as standardisation and indigenisation of hardware and software


  • Budget allocation for highways raised from Rs 57,976 crore in BE 2016-17 to Rs 64,900 crore in BE 2017-18. Around 2,000 km of coastal connectivity roads have been identified for construction and development. This will facilitate better connectivity with ports and remote villages
  • The total length of roads, including those under PMGSY, built from 2014-15 till the current year is about 1,40,000 km which is significantly higher than previous three years
  • Select airports in Tier 2 cities will be taken up for operation and maintenance in the PPP mode


  • Under the BharatNet Project, 1,55,000 km long optical fibre cable has been laid so far. Budgetary allocation of Rs 10,000 crore has been made for the year 2017-18. The measures are expected to equip around 1,50,000 gram panchayats with high speed broadband connectivity on optical fibre with wifi hot spots and access to digital services at low tariffs by the end of 2017-18
  • A DigiGaon initiative will be launched to provide tele-medicine, education and skills through digital technology


  • For strengthening the energy sector, two more Strategic Crude Oil Reserves will be set up. In the first phase, three such Reserves facilities have been set up. In the second phase, it is proposed to set up caverns at 2 more locations – Chandikhole in Odisha and Bikaner in Rajasthan. This will take our strategic reserve capacity to 15.33 MMT
  • The solar energy would see addition of 20,000 MW capacity in the second phase

“The essence of the Budget 2017-18 is to spend more in rural areas, infrastructure and poverty alleviation and yet maintain the best standards of fiscal prudence“, Union finance minister, Arun Jaitley.


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