PUNE: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced that 100 more airports will be developed by 2024 to support the Regional Connectivity Scheme ‘UDAN’. In her speech, she said that India’s air traffic has increased faster than the global average. In this period, the number of aeroplanes will increase from the current 600 to 1,200.
To double the farmers’ income by 2022, the finance minister announced the launch of the Krishi Udaan programme of the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The agricultural flying programme will be available on national and international air routes. This will especially help the NorthEast and tribal districts to get fair prices.
However, according to experts, RCS means that not only will it facilitate the air travel of the common man to more destinations and regions in the country but also being affordable, it will ensure its sustenance.
Aviation expert & analyst Dhairyashil Vandekar said, “While it was expected of the FM to make announcements to boost the untapped Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) sector of the country and also ease the burden of the airport and some other levies on the bleeding airlines, this did not happen. The further expansion of the Regional Connectivity Scheme means that not only will it facilitate the air travel of the common man across more destinations and regions in the country but being affordable, it will also ensure its sustenance.”
“The budget gives a boost to Civil Aviation with mention of an additional 100 airports as well as special aviation for farmers. Infrastructure has potential for additional job creation as well as industry and tourism,” said Air Marshal Bhushan Gokhle (Retd), MCCIA, Civil Aviation.
“The allocation of Rs 1.7 lakh crore for transport infrastructure and the announcement of setting up 100 new airports under UDAN, is a big booster for travel and tourism in the country. At the same time, allotment of Rs 4,400 crore for clean air policies is a step in the pursuit of sustainable development. The scheme to boost electronic manufacturing in the country will also support the electric vehicle ecosystem in the country,” said Sunil Gupta, MD & CEO, Avis India.
Alakesh Roy, Vice-Chairman, Confederation of Indian Industry Pune Zonal Council on Aviation, said, “It is very positive as this kind of infrastructure investment will help the businesses in growing.”
“The announcement for 100 new airports under UDAN is a very positive move that will further strengthen an already successful scheme. Importantly, this is the first budget, where the Government of India has tried to bridge the trust deficit with Corporate India and the fact that the FM has said that she will not tolerate tax terrorism and there will be a tax charter are positive signs,” said SpiceJet CMD Ajay Singh.