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Budget 2018: Nitin Gadkari Asks For Extra Funds From Arun Jaitley for Making Cities Congestion Free

Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport and Highways, recently wrote to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley seeking around 18 percent increase in budgetary allocation.

Rounak Kumar Gunjan | News18.com

Updated:January 5, 2018, 2:03 PM IST
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Budget 2018: Nitin Gadkari Asks For Extra Funds From Arun Jaitley for Making Cities Congestion Free
File photo of Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari. (Reuters)
New Delhi: With hours-long traffic jams becoming a daily reality in Indian cities, the Ministry of Highways and Road Transport has sought an additional Rs 25,000 crore as budgetary support for the upcoming fiscal year to address the problem through infrastructure upgrades.

Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, recently wrote to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley seeking around 18 percent increase in budgetary allocation.

For 2017-18, the government had allocated Rs 64,900 crore to the Ministry of Surface Transport. The extra budget sought for 2018-19 is over and above the Rs 79,000 crore, the ministry had asked for other programmes.

The Centre is also likely to announce a Rs 2,000 crore plan for procuring electric buses in the upcoming Union Budget.

The transport department also plans to extend support to states through a special provision for electric bus and personal rapid transport initiatives. Of the extra fund, Rs 2,000 crore will be for the procurement of electric buses and an equal amount would be spent on promoting personal rapid transport like pod taxis.

The government will soon seek expressions of interest for launching the country’s first driverless pod taxi system on a 70-km stretch from Dhaula Kuan in Delhi to Manesar in Haryana.

The Centre also envisages development of bus ports in collaboration with states in major cities and plans to set aside another Rs 2,000 crore as part of viability gap funding for the purpose.

Additionally, in an effort to fasten the process of approval of the Motor Vehicle Act (Amendment) Bill 2017, pending in the Rajya Sabha, Nitin Gadkari is hopeful that the Bill will find the light of the day before the Winter Session comes to a close.

“We are trying to push for the Bill so that the Rajya Sabha passes it as soon as possible. Currently, it is with the Rajya Sabha Select Committee due to a difference in opinion the parties had regarding in the last Monsoon Session. However, we are hopeful it will be passed in this session,” Gadkari told News18.

The Bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha and is awaiting Rajya Sabha's nod. It will turn into a law after the President signs it.

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| Edited by: Aditya Nair
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