Instead of a separate urban employment programme, the government believes that its limited resources, due to the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, are better spent on infrastructure outlay.
The Narendra Modi government has identified 50 projects from the National Infrastructure Pipeline which will be expedited on a priority basis, Moneycontrol has learnt. The government aims to pump capital expenditure into these projects, with an explicit intention of employment generation.
These projects are across regions of the country and across sectors. Instead of a separate urban employment programme, the government believes that its limited resources, due to the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, are better spent on infrastructure outlay.
“These are projects in their various stages of gestation, and have huge employment creation potential because of their size. All that is required is a final push on a nationwide scale,” a senior government official said.
Some of the 50 projects which have been identified include the Jewar International Airport in Greater Noida, Navi Mumbai International Airport, the Chardham Connectivity Highway project, JNPT port Terminal 4, Vadodara-Mumbai Expressway, Ahmedabad Metro Rail and the planned second Chennai Airport.
Other projects include Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramula Railway Link, the remaining 80-odd kilometres of Delhi-Meerut Expressway, the Jal Marg Vikas Project, a four-lane bridge over Brahmaputra connecting Dhubri and Phulbari, the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train, Dwarka Expressway, Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Rapid Rail System, and the extension of the VVSPL product pipeline.
This infrastructure push is a cornerstone of the Modi government’s fiscal stimulus plans. Even as economic indicators show signs of improvement, job creation has become one of the Centre’s biggest priorities. This even as there is a real concern over a second wave of fresh COVID-19 cases in the country.
So far, the Centre has announced three rounds of stimulus measures. In the last round in October, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the Centre would increase its capital expenditure outlay for the year by Rs 25,000 crore, from the Rs 4.12 lakh crore already budgeted.
However, the funding push for the projects mentioned above is expected to come not just from the Centre, but also the major state-owned companies, states, and multilateral institutions like the World Bank.