(GIST OF YOJANA) Bandwidth for Spending  [MARCH-2018]

(GIST OF YOJANA) Bandwidth for Spending


Bandwidth for Spending

One of the important challenges with the increased allocations is our ability to spend it effectively. For example, even though the allocation for railways from Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) in 2017-18 was Rs 0.55 trillion, the expected actual spend has been revised downward to Rs 0.42 trillion. Consequently, the GBS provision for 2018-19 has been kept at Rs 0.55 trillion, without any increase and almost identical to the previous year’s provision.

Projectising as a Means of Directing the Spend

On the credit side though, the allocations in different sectors over the past few years have tended to be guided by long-term multi-activity project conceptualization like the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), Sagarmala, High Speed Rail (HSR) and Bharatmala projects. The HSR and Bharatmala projects were announced in September and October 2017 respectively. (Of course, the Bharatmala is, in many ways, a modified version of the earlier National Highways Development Project.) Such conceptualization provides more stability and direction, rather than being buffeted by varying annual demands.

Inter-sectoral Issues

However, a related challenge is one of examining inter-sectoral implications For example, it is not clear whether building and connecting more airports is the way to go, given the improving road connectivity. More airports will reduce the catchment per airport, reducing frequency of service and thus putting the overall viability in question. For example, Hubbali and Belagavi are less than 100 kilometers apart with excellent road connectivity, but still wish to have modern airports with just a couple of flights a day each. It would take under two hours to reach either airport from their catchment. As a comparison, there are many parts in Bengaluru where reaching the airport would take more than two hours. An overall approach to air connectivity by integrating roads, and keeping a focus on access time rather than distance would be the way to go. For example, in hilly areas, airports closer to one another may still be okay.

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Courtesy: Yojana