Budget 2022: Formation of a panel of high-level planners for urban sector policies

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Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget Speech on Tuesday announced the government’s plans to set up a high-level committee comprising planners, economists and institutions to provide recommendations on urban sector policies, capacity building, planning, implementation and governance.

The finance minister also announced that modern building regulations would be introduced and five institutions would be designated centers of excellence with an allocation of Rs 250 crore each for “India-specific urban knowledge”.

In a bid to push clean fuel consumption into public policy, Sitharaman also said, “We will promote a shift to using public transport through special zones with zero tolerance for non-public transport and encourage electric-only vehicle operations.”

Sitharaman announced that to drive greater efficiency in the electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem, a battery swap policy will also be rolled out. “For the establishment of large-scale battery stations, a battery exchange policy will be put in place and interoperability standards will be formulated,” the finance minister said.

“The private sector will be encouraged to develop sustainable and innovative battery and energy-as-a-service models that will increase the efficiency of the electric vehicle ecosystem,” she added in her budget speech. .

In the Union budget for the financial year 2021-22, the finance minister has allocated Rs 18,000 crore to boost public transport in urban areas. The finance minister announced public-private partnership (PPP) models to operate more than 20,000 buses. The government also announced “MetroLite” and “MetroNeo” technologies to provide rail metro systems at a much lower cost with a similar experience in Tier 2 cities and outlying areas of Tier 1 cities.

Why is that : The government plans to give a boost to the electric vehicle ecosystem through public transport and its FAME program launched to accelerate electric vehicle infrastructure in India.

So what: Government push for battery swapping, a method in which a depleted battery is replaced with a fully charged battery, can provide solutions to consumer apprehensions for electric vehicles, reduce vehicle costs and provide charging modalities effective.

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