Presenting her maiden budget (referred as Bahi Khata), Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman highlighted the need of reducing high logistics cost saying that the major infrastructure revamp pursued by the present NDA government since its tenure in 2014 is meant to achieve this.
Speaking on the occasion, she also announced the exercise of improving inland waterways cargo network being taken to the next level with the opening of two more multi-modal terminals in the near run. The terminals at Sahibganj and Haldia and a navigational lock at Farakka under Jal Marg Vikas Project are expected to become operational during the course of this fiscal. With these initiatives, the government is expecting four times increase in next four years in the cargo volume on Ganga, leading to cheaper freight and passenger movement and reduction in the import bill.
In her budget speech, the finance minister also emphasized on better Public-Private-Partnership for development and completion of tracks, rolling stock manufacturing and delivery of passenger/ freight services in railways. The ambitious nearly $100 billion Freight Corridor Project is scheduled to become fully operational in the coming years.