Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Wednesday a national master plan worth Rs 100 lakh crore for multi-modal connectivity. This plan aims to improve infrastructure and reduce logistics costs to boost the economy.
Modi stated that PM Gati Shakthi aims to reduce logistic costs, increase cargo handling capacities, and reduce turnaround times at a function to launch his plan.
He stated that the plan will give more power and speed to projects through connecting all departments on one platform. Additionally, infrastructure schemes from various ministries and states governments will be created and implemented with a common vision.
Modi stated that taxpayers’ money was being ”insulted’ by a lazy approach to development work. Departments worked in silos, and there was little coordination on projects.
He stated that development is impossible without quality infrastructure, and the government has taken the decision to improve it holistically.
The Prime Minister stated that Gati Shakti will join different departments to coordinate the development of projects ranging from roads to railways, aviation, agriculture and more.
He stated that India’s high logistics costs at 13% of GDP were affecting export competitiveness. PM Gati Shakthi is designed to reduce logistic cost and turnaround times.
He said that this will boost India’s status as an investment destination.
According to the Prime Minister, the pace and scale at which India is experiencing under his government has never been seen before in its 70-year history of independence.
He gave examples of the first inter-state natural gaz pipeline being commissioned in 1987. Between 1987 and 2014, 15,000 km of natural gas pipeline were built. More than 16,000 km of new gas pipeline are currently being built.
He said, “What was accomplished in 27 years is what we are doing now in less than half the time.”
Five years before the BJP government came to power in 2014 1,900-km rail lines were doubled. In the past seven years, 9,000-km rail line doublings have occurred.
Similar to the previous 3,000 km of electrification on railway lines in five years, 24,000 km has been achieved in the last seven years.
The metro rail network has grown to 700-km in length in the last seven years, from 250-km in 2015. Work is ongoing on another 1,000-km.
The vessel turnaround time at ports has been reduced to 41 to 27 hours, and efforts are being made to further reduce it, he stated. 4.25 lakh circuit kilometers of power transmission lines have been laid, as opposed to 3 lakh circuit km in the five years prior.
He said that renewable energy has accelerated the pace of change.
PM GatiShakti plan involves the creation of a common umbrella platform through which infrastructure projects can be planned and implemented in an efficacious manner by way of coordination between various ministries/departments on a real-time basis.
There will be more transparency and access to information and data in real-time, which will allow for efficient implementation of infrastructure projects. This will reduce information asymmetry among ministries and work in silos, as well as less delays caused by lack of coordination between different government agencies.
According to the Prime Minister, over time, the sign ‘work in progress’ has become a symbol of distrust.
Modi stated that progress requires speed, eagerness, and collective efforts. Modi also said that India of 21st Century is abandoning old systems and practices.
He said, “We have not only created a culture that allows us to complete projects within the agreed timeframes but we are also attempting to finish the projects earlier.”
According to the Prime Minister, infrastructure has not been a top priority for many political parties in the country and is not even mentioned in their manifesto.
He said that the current situation is such that certain political parties are now critiquing the construction of the necessary infrastructure.
The Prime Minister noted that although it is generally accepted that creating quality infrastructure for sustainable growth is a proven method, this creates many economic activities and employment.
He was happy to say that the current focus is on avoiding delays caused by lack of coordination.
Modi stated that now, the collective power is being channelled towards implementing the plans.
The PM Gati Shakti Master Plan brings together government and various stakeholders, but also integrates different modes of transportation. He said that this is an extension to holistic governance.
The infrastructure for processing is being rapidly expanded to increase the income of farmers and fishermen.
The Prime Minister expressed optimism that India could achieve its dream of being the world’s business capital by developing quality infrastructure.
He said that JAM (Jan Dhan Aadhaar Mobile, Mobile) revolutionized the accessibility of government facilities to the public. PM Gati Shakhi will do the exact same in the field of Infrastructure.
It”s 21st century India, and the government systems in India are moving forward…Today’s mantra is: Work for Progress, Wealth for Progress, Plan for Progress, Preference for Success.
Modi stated that Modi has created a culture where projects are completed within the timeframes specified and is also trying to finish them on time.
Private players were also unaware of the locations for roads, canals, and power plants. The Prime Minister stated that PM Gati Shakti’s national master plan will provide solutions to all these problems.
He said that “when we move, based upon a master plan,” there will be an optimal use of resources. He also stated that people all over the world have come to accept the importance of quality infrastructure in sustainable development.
He also encouraged states to take part in the initiative.
Last-mile connectivity was a problem that had adversely affected the country’s exports. This has led to increased logistics costs. Hence seamless last mile connectivity is essential.
This initiative will assist government departments in making efficient planning and policy. It will also reduce unnecessary expenditure.
The prime minister stated that the country works faster and more efficiently than in the past 70 years. He also said that the goal is to lower logistics costs, increase cargo capacity at rail and ports, and reduce turnaround times.
He said that over 200 airports, water aerodromes, and helipads will be built in the next 4-5 years.
“No matter what targets I’ve mentioned, they are difficult to achieve. To achieve these targets, we will use extraordinary efforts and methods,” said he, adding that the Gati Shakti national planning will provide correct information and direction to ensure government projects are completed within the timeframes specified.
Four exhibition halls were also opened by the Prime Minister at the international exhibition cum convention center.
He stated that this will allow MSMEs, handicrafts and cottage industries to show their products to global buyers.