Source: PIB & The Hindu
Work related to the Central Road and Infrastructure Fund (CRIF) has been taken away from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and brought under the domain of the Finance Ministry. Budget 2018 amended the Central Road Fund Act, 2000, and renamed the Central Road Fund the Central Road and Infrastructure Fund.
Objective of the amendment
The objective of the amendment was to use proceeds of the road cess under CRIF to finance other infrastructure projects such as waterways, some portion of the railway infrastructure and even social infrastructure, including education institutions and medical colleges.
About the CRIF
- The Central Road and Infrastructure Fund (CRIF) is earmarked for various infrastructure sectors such as Transport (Road and Bridges, Ports, Shipyards, Inland Waterways, Airports, Railways, Urban Public Transport), Energy, Water and Sanitation, Communication, Social and Commercial Infrastructure, etc., as per the provisions of CRIF Act, 2000 amended by the Finance Act, 2019.
- The funds for various infrastructure sectors are to be earmarked as per the provisions of the above mentioned Act.
- As per amendment to the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 in July, 2018, the subject matter pertains to the Ministry of Finance.
- With the amendment of CRF Act, 2000 through Finance Act, 2018 and replacing earlier Act with the CRIF Act, 2000, sanction of schemes for the State Roads is no longer a function of the Central Government.
- However, the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) has initiated consultation with this Ministry for finalization of Criteria for development of State Roads as per the CRIF Act, 2000, amended vide the Finance Act, 2019.