Budget 2021: FM announces major infra push in poll-bound states

New Delhi: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech on Monday announced major infrastructure projects for states of West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Assam, where interestingly assembly elections are to be held this year. Apart from that, she also allocated special funds for two of the states.

Delivering her third and first-ever paperless budget speech in the parliament, Sitharaman announced Rs 65,000 crore and Rs 25,000 crore for road and highway development projects in Kerala and West Bengal respectively. She also allocated Rs 34,000 crore for road infrastructure projects in Assam, saying that national highway works of Rs 19,000 crore are already in progress in the state.

In a major infrastructure push for Tamil Nadu, the finance minister announced 3500 kilometers of national highway works in the state at an investment of Rs 1.03 lakh crore. The works include the Madurai-Kollam corridor and the Chittoor-Thatchur corridor.

Additionally, another 8,500 km of road projects and about 11,000 km of National Highway corridors will be completed by March 2022 under the Bharat Mala Pariyojna project, Sitharaman added.

Besides, the finance minister also announced a special package of Rs 1000 crore for the tea works of in the states of West Bengal and Assam.

Of these four states, the Bharatiya Janata Party is in power only in Assam and wants to make inroads in West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The general elections in these states are likely to be held in April-May.