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Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the Union Budget 2020-21, in Parliament today, said that infrastructure was crucial to the theme of “Economic development” and hence the Budget which is dedicated to provide “Ease of Living” to all citizen.

Emphasising need for efficiency of India Sea Ports and use of technology to improve their performance, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, said “The government would consider corporatizing at least one major port and subsequently its listing on the stock exchanges.”

Speaking about Inland Waterways, the Finance Minister also announced that the “Jal Vikas Marg” on National Waterway-1 will be completed and further the 890 Km Dhubri-Sadiya connectivity will be done by 2022”.

Smt Sitharaman further said that Plans are afoot on “Arth Ganga”- PM’s vision to energise economic activity along the river banks. In order to boost the transport Infrastructure in the country the Union Budget has provided for about Rs 1.70 Lakh Crore.

Impetus to Civil Aviation Sector

The Finance Minister also announced that 100 more airports would be developed by 2024 to support Udaan scheme. She also remarked in her Budget presentation that India’s Air traffic has grown rapidly as compared to global average and the Air fleet number was expected to go up from the present 600 to 1200 during this time.

In the direction of doubling farmers’ income by 2022, among other measures, the Finance Minister also announced launch of “Krishi Udaan” by the Ministry of Civil aviation on International & National routes. This is aimed to help improve value realisation especially in North-East and Tribal districts. 

Power and Renewable Energy

The Union Finance Minister, also proposed an allocation of Rs. 22000 crore for Power and Renewable Energy sector in 2020-21. Finance minister urged all States and Union Territories to replace conventional meters by prepaid “Smart Meters” in the next 3 years and measures to reform DISCOMs.

Further, the Finance Minister proposed in the Budget that national gas grid would be expanded from the present 16200 km to 27000 km with further reforms to be undertaken to facilitate transparent price discovery and ease of transactions.

The Finance Minister also proposed to extend corporate tax rate of 15% to new domestic companies engaged in the generation of electricity.

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PM’s Departure Statement ahead of his visit to USA
September 22, 2021
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I will be visiting USA from 22-25 September, 2021 at the invitation of His Excellency President Joe Biden of the United States of America

During my visit, I will review the India-U.S. Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership with President Biden and exchange views on regional and global issues of mutual interest. I am also looking forward to meeting Vice President Kamala Harris to explore opportunities for cooperation between our two nations particularly in the area of science and technology.

I will participate in the first in-person Quad Leaders’ Summit along with President Biden, Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan. The Summit provides an opportunity to take stock of the outcomes of our Virtual Summit in March this year and identify priorities for future engagements based on our shared vision for the Indo-Pacific region.

I will also meet Prime Minister Morrison of Australia and Prime Minister Suga of Japan to take stock of the strong bilateral relations with their respective countries and continue our useful exchanges on regional and global issues.

I will conclude my visit with an Address at the United Nations General Assembly focusing on the pressing global challenges including the Covid-19 pandemic, the need to combat terrorism, climate change and other important issues.

My visit to the US would be an occasion to strengthen the Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership with USA, consolidate relations with our strategic partners – Japan and Australia - and to take forward our collaboration on important global issues.