FM Sitharaman submitted a budget for the budgetary year which claimed that the transport infrastructure Rs 1.7 lakh crore was given in 2020-21. Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday told the UDAN scheme that another 100 airports will be built by 2025. Sitharaman presented the 2020-21 budget and reported that the transport infrastructure was paid for by Rs 1.7 lakh crore in 2020-21. She also claimed that 1.150 trains will be handled under the PPP system, while the private sector will also rebuild four stations. The Minister further vowed to link tourist destinations on more trains of the Téjas type. She said a plan is being discussed to set up large solar resources alongside the railways.
The decision to build another 100 UDAN airports is a very good government project, and will improve the country's air connectivity, said Anita Rastogi, PwC Associate. A national aviation program introduced by the government of Modi in April 2017 is UDAN or Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik. As the name implies, the network seeks to provide the common citizen of the world in small towns and cities across the country with reliable air connectivity. In the 2019-20 financial year, the government had awarded UDAN Rs 480 crore, which had been raised from Rs 441 crore in the 2018/19 financial year.
The scheme aims to link communities of level 2 and level 3 to their metropolitan equivalents and concurrently revive small airports. A fixed price of Rs 2500 for one hour of the flight was believed to be the pinnacle of the program, with the government subsidizing the majority of the airlines. The Government has raffled exclusive routes to individual airlines on which airlines are supposed to operate exclusively with a share of the seats reserved for the subsidized fare. The scheme is financed by both federal and state governments, which account for 20% of the funds.
The Budget has been widely accused of levying an additional charge for all domestic travellers to account for UDAN subsidies. Nearly three years after its completion, the system faces structural problems with many small airlines waiting in the wings to commence operations on the specified routes. In the past, other airlines, including Air Deccan and Air Odisha, have also cancelled their licenses because of their lacklustre performance. Small airlines which have little to benefit in infrastructure support relative to heavyweights such as Spicejet and Indigo are also the underlying problems. The government is also confronted with the question of the shortage of bidders on many routes that have been lifted.