On India's 75th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the Centre will launch 'PM Gati Shakti Master Plan', a ₹ 100 lakh-crore project for developing 'holistic infrastructure'.
The scheme is aimed at breaking the silos among road, rail, air and waterways to reduce travel time, improving industrial productivity, making manufacturing globally competitive, facilitating future economic zones and creating employment. In his speech, Modi pegged the project as a source of employment opportunities for the youth in future.
'No Coordination Among Various Means Of Transport'
"In the coming days, we will launch PM Gati Shakti Plan, a 100 lakh crore national infrastructure master plan which will make a foundation for holistic infrastructure and give an integrated pathway to our economy," PM Modi said. The PM said that right now, there is no coordination among the various means of transport.
The country has been working on a reset of its logistics sector involving railways, highways, inland waterways and airports to put in place an effective transportation grid. Logistics constitute about 13 per cent of costs for Indian companies, making exports uncompetitive vis-a-vis China.
Integrated Framework For Infrastructure Development
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the Gati Shakti project is aimed at creating "an integrated framework" for infrastructure development across the country. She said that it will ensure that various economic hubs are able to better make use of the investments in the sector being done by the government and private players. The government felt the need for creating a kind of a master plan for infra investments, she added.
As part of the master plan, multimodal connectivity of various economic hubs with roads, ports and airports will provide manufacturers faster access to domestic and international markets.
In December 2019, Sitharaman had announced a ₹111 lakh crore National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) with 6,835 projects. That has now expanded to 7,400 projects of which 217 worth ₹1.10 lakh crore have already been completed. The government is also setting up a Development Finance Institution (DFI) to fund such projects.