Home / Economy / Gati Shakti to lay foundation for economic growth: Modi
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NEW DELHI : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched the Gati Shakti-National Master Plan to connect the country’s economic zones, saying the master plan would lay the foundation for economic growth over the next 25 years. 

“This will give impetus to 21st century India," he said. 

PM Gati Shakti aims to institutionalize holistic planning for major infrastructure projects. The projects will be designed and executed with a common vision and will incorporate the infrastructure schemes of various ministries and state governments such as the Bharatmala road project, Sagarmala waterways plan, ports and the UDAN scheme. 

Connectivity between economic zones such as textile clusters, pharmaceutical clusters, defence corridors, electronic parks, industrial corridors, fishing clusters, and agri zones will be improved to make Indian businesses more competitive. It will also leverage technology, including spatial planning tools with satellite imagery. 

If the multiplier effect of infrastructure investments on gross domestic product (GDP) is to be maximized within a short time frame, it is critical that specific infrastructure projects which form part of critical trade routes, both internal and external, be prioritized, said Arindam Guha, partner at Deloitte India. “For example, specific road and rail connectivity linkages or evacuation points like ports, airports, which form part of designated industrial corridors like DMIC, East Coast Economic Corridor or Amritsar Kolkata Freight Corridor are likely to have a disproportionately positive impact on trade flows of multiple products manufactured in the corridor," he said. 

“Same is the case with last-mile connectivity infrastructure to large operational and upcoming industrial parks which are on the verge of completion. The Gati Shakti initiative, with its technology platform for real-time monitoring of projects and supporting coordination mechanism between concerned ministries and government agencies, is expected to provide a major boost in the prioritization of such projects," he added.

The Prime Minister said the wide gap between macro planning and micro implementation, problems of lack of coordination, lack of advance information, and thinking and working in silos are leading to hampered construction and wastage of budget. “PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan will address this as working on the basis of the master plan will lead to optimum utilization of resources," he added.

Modi said infrastructure has not been a priority for most political parties. “This is not even visible in their manifesto. Now, the situation has come that some political parties have started criticizing the construction of necessary infrastructure for the country. This despite the fact that it is globally accepted that the creation of quality infrastructure for sustainable development is a proven way, which gives rise to many economic activities and creates employment on a large scale," Modi said.

He elaborated upon the steps taken to increase the speed of infrastructure development in India. Modi said his government aims to complete 16,000 km of gas pipelines across the country in the next five to six years compared to 15,000 km of pipelines built in 27 years till 2014. Modi said in the past seven years, more than 9,000 km of railway lines have been doubled, compared to 1,900 km of doubling of tracks in five years before 2014. “Turnaround time of the vessels at the ports has come down to 27 hours from 41 hours in 2014," Modi added.

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