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The top 15 states of India have budgeted around an 8% increase in their capital expenditure on roads and bridges. The states together account for 85% of the total road capital expenditure. With this, the budget for road capital expenditure reaches 1.26 lakh crore this fiscal, according to a report by CRISIL Research.

The increase is actually lower than the whopping 39% jump last year which was due to constrained budgeting of the previous two years. In 2020 and 2021 the states could achieve only 92-94% of the road budgets due to pandemic-induced slowdown and diversion of funds towards health and social expenditure.

The research also mentioned the revised estimate for the year 2022 which shows a 97% achievement of the budget. However, as the actuals have historically been lower, the research estimates the actual increase in spending at 28-32%.

Still, it mirrors the compound annual growth rate of 9% in the last five fiscal (fiscal 2017 actuals to fiscal 2022 revised estimate).

The research also states that in the current fiscal, it expects 90-95% achievement of the road budgets. It is a growth of 6-8% year-on-year, given high spenders like Maharashtra have moderated their road spending amid high fiscal deficits.

The states in high fiscal zones, such as Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, have also lowered their spending on roads.

States like Odisha and Andhra Pradesh have been laggards in the spending of their road budgets over the last 5 years, have now allocated a higher amount for road development.

Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, too, have budgeted for double-digit growth in road budgets given the relatively lower road density in these states.

With Inputs from ANI.

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