It is well known that India will have a genuinely common market once the new goods and services tax (GST) is rolled out. The border posts along state boundaries have for long been irritants for companies that need to move goods seamlessly across the country. The result: fractured supply chains.
The new national market will have to be bolstered by a new logistics ecosystem. It is in this context that the recent push for building more roads and laying out more train tracks matters. Mint reported this week that the Union cabinet has already cleared 53 railway projects for 5,019km at a cost of Rs.48,555 crore.
Indian Railways in recent decades has been used as a source of political patronage rather than nation-building. China has raced ahead of India in the game. Railway minister Suresh Prabhu has the very tough task of getting a slothful and neglected organization to work in new ways. The first results are now evident—just as GST becomes a reality.