NEW DELHI: Noting obstacles that came in way of investments in infrastructural development of the country by previous governments, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday highlighted the prevailing mentality that poverty is a virtue, and said that the present government has been successful in eliminating the mentality.
“Similarly, only 600 route km of railway track was electrified per year before 2014 which is now reaching to 4000 km per year. The number of airports and seaport capacity has doubled as well,” said PM Modi while addressing a post-Budget webinar on ‘Infrastructure and Investment’.
“Infrastructure development is the driving force of the country’s economy”, the Prime Minister remarked as he pointed out that India will achieve the target of becoming a developed nation by 2047 by following this very path.
“Now we have to improve our speed and move in top gear”, he said.
Noting that PM Gati Shakti Master Plan is a critical tool that integrates economic and infrastructural planning with development, the Prime Minister said, “Gati Shakti National Master Plan is going to change the face of India’s infrastructure and its multimodal logistics.”
The Prime Minister noted that the results of the PM Gati Shakti Master Plan are becoming visible.
“We have identified the gaps that were impacting the logistics efficiency. That is why, in this year’s Budget, 100, critical projects have been prioritized and 75,000 crore rupees have been allocated,” he said.
“With quality and multimodal infrastructure, our logistic cost is going to reduce further in the days to come. This will have a positive impact on the goods made in India, on the competence of our products. Along with the logistics sector, there will be a lot of improvement in ease of living and ease of doing business”, he added.
Elaborating on the role of the states, the Prime Minister informed about the one-year extension of interest-free loans up to 50 years loans and Budgetary expenditure for this has been increased to the tune of 30 per cent.
The Prime Minister also asked the participants to find ways to develop a mechanism for an advanced forecast of the needs of their sectors as various materials are needed for infrastructure development.
“We need an integrated approach so that the roadmap for the future remains clear. PM Gati-Shakti National Master Plan has a big role in this”, he said emphasizing the need to integrate the concept of circular economy with the sector.
He informed that India’s Capex has increased 5 times compared to 2013-14 and the government is moving with a target of investing 110 lakh crore rupees under the National Infrastructure Pipeline.
“Infrastructure has a significant role to play in the sustainable development of any country along with development while keeping the needs of the future in mind”, the Prime Minister remarked.
He underlined that those who have knowledge of history related to infrastructure are well-versed with this fact. He cited the construction of Uttarapath by Chandragupta Maurya which was carried forward by Ashoka and later upgraded by Sher Shah Suri. He said that it was the Britishers who turned it into G T Road.
Referring to riverfronts and waterways, PM Modi gave the example of the Ghats of Banaras which were directly connected to Kolkata via waterways. He also mentioned the example of still operational, 2 thousand-year-old Kallanai dam of Tamil Nadu.
He emphasized that the robustness of India’s physical infrastructure is equally important for the strengthening of the country’s social infrastructure.
He underlined that a strong social infrastructure will lead to more talented and skilled youth who will come forward to serve the nation.
PM Modi stressed the need for skill development, project management, financial skills and entrepreneurship to accomplish this goal.
He also addressed the need to develop a mechanism for skill forecasting that will help small and big industries from different sectors while also benefiting the human resource pool of the country. He also urged various ministries in the governments to work at a fast pace in this direction.
Noting the significance of the suggestions of every stakeholder in this webinar, he elaborated that they are not just contributing to the development of the nation but also providing momentum to the growth engine of India.
He also highlighted that infrastructural development is not limited to rail, road, ports, and airports anymore but as part of this year’s Budget, and said, “huge projects have been taken up for storing the produce of the farmers in villages.”
He also gave examples of wellness centers being developed in the cities and villages, new railway stations, and pucca houses being delivered to every family. (ANI)