Govt. to develop highways, improve air connectivity

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New Delhi, Feb 29 (ANI): Focusing on infrastructure creation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech announced building of 10,000 kms of national highways. He also announced up-gradation of 50,000 kms of state highways as national highways in 2016-17.

“Nearly 85 percent of the stalled road projects have been put back on track by my dear friend Nitin Gadkari,” Jaitley said.

With a special focus on agriculture, Jaitley highlighted various measures that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government plans to take for the sector.

Rolling out new health schemes, Jaitley proposed a new healthcare protection scheme in the Union Budget which will provide Rs. one lakh per family.

Looking at the rising cases of renal disease and lack of affordable dialysis centre, Jaitley said the government will start a dialysis programme for which the funds will be brought through Public Private Partnership model.

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This will be available in all district hospitals and the government will exempt dialysis equipment from certain basic customs duty.

In a big push towards achieving regional air connectivity, Jaitley announced to develop 160 non-functional airports across the country.

He said, “In civil aviation, 160 non-functional airports will be developed at a cost of Rs. 50-100 crore each.”

“10 of 25 defunct airstrips will be developed in partnership with state government,” Jaitley added.

The development will be part of the low-cost airport plan, where the government intends to develop airport with minimal frills to keep the cost of flying low.

The low cost of flying would help improve regional connectivity and help the government achieve the government’s scheme to regional flying at a cost of Rs. 2,500 per hour flight. (ANI)

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