Home / Economy / Bangladesh, Japan evince interest in PM Gati Shakti

The Prime Minister Gati Shakti Master Plan, which aims to reduce logistics costs in India to levels comparable to developed nations, has garnered international interest and could be shared with neighbouring countries to aid infrastructure planning, a government official said.

The plan may first be offered to Bangladesh for cross-border infrastructure projects before a separate product is developed for overseas project planning and execution, the official said on condition of anonymity.

The official said countries looking to get on board may also get limited access to the PM Gati Shakti website to experience how projects are brought from the drawing board to execution.

“We have had a meeting with Bangladesh hosted by the World Bank. The Japanese side has also shown great interest. The Union government may decide to share the tech used in PM Gati Shakti. Bangladesh certainly wants to plan certain policy interventions, and they tried to learn about these policy interventions to maybe replicate that in their country," the official said.

“Gati Shakti is also relevant for the ministry of external affairs for international cooperation. So we’ve had a workshop with the ministry, and two to three things have been identified for taking further, which are international projects for infrastructure related to railways or roadways. Even areas like cargo terminals have been identified to be taken up with different countries, including Bangladesh and Sri Lanka," the official added.

India’s logistics sector is currently fragmented and unorganized, resulting in logistics costs that are as high as 14-15% of GDP. In comparison, developed nations such as Singapore and the US have kept their logistics costs below 7-8% of GDP. The National Logistics Policy (NLP) and PM Gati Shakti aim to integrate the logistics sector and bring costs down to 8% in the next five years.

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had earlier asked NITI Aayog to map various infrastructure projects in the country, including the industrial corridors, freight corridors, PM Mitra Parks, and defence corridors and bring them under the PM Gati Shakti scheme for optimum utilization of resources.

“Among other types of projects identified for the use of PM Gati Shakti are international projects such as Chabahar Port, if the host country is willing and is keen on cooperating. We are also considering sharing of technology with other countries, on mutually agreed terms, on a financial or non-financial basis for adoption or development of similar systems by those countries, which can help them plan their infrastructure," the first official said.

The plan is to offer the PM Gati Shakti model to countries where India is already implementing projects. Later, other interested countries could be offered this integrated planning and execution tool. The master plan will be portrayed as a unique product using state-of-the-art technology, which will reform governance, especially project implementation and management.

Queries sent to the spokesperson for the commerce and industry ministry remained unanswered till press time.

According to some estimates, about 30% of total farm production is wasted at various stages of the supply chain, resulting in significant losses. NLP aims to cut these losses by improving warehouses and cold chain efficiency, to limit losses during the transportation of perishable commodities to under 5%.

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