The unified infrastructure platform will accelerate India growth story
Hari Hara Mishra | October 14, 2021
The launch of the Gati Shakti master plan will be a booster dose for India growth story. The plan, as the name indicates, will ensure Gati, i.e., speed and Shakti, i.e., empowerment to the ₹1 trillion national infrastructure pipeline.
The plan will break inter-ministerial silos. For example, there are ministries of roads, railways, ports, aviation, mining etc and the left hand does not know what the right is doing. A road gets constructed, the other department comes in and digs it up for laying, say, sewage or fibre or something else. A port gets constructed without approach road or a mega industry is set up without a rail head. Export/import units, SEZs are set up without linkage to ports. Essentially, economic activities are not at an optimal level due to absence of forward and backward linkages.
The present plan tries to have a holistic approach to development. A digital platform has been created which will bring 16 ministries for integrated planning and coordinated implementation of infrastructure projects. The programme will have access to satellite imagery in respect of land, logistics, boundaries etc. The centralised portal will have real time online data in respect of various stages of project starting with land acquisition.
Not only central government departments, but the prime minister has also requested states too to join this initiative. Apart from the government, other stakeholders including the private sector may also be roped in.
The cherished goal is to make India the Global business capital. The initiatives are likely to reduce cost of production by improved logistics planning and enhance competitiveness of the exporting units. During the process several industrial and defence corridors are likely to emerge. Agriculture, including cold storage chains, fishery and textiles are also expected to get a boost. The pipeline will try to step up last mile connectivity to economic zones in a defined time frame. A multimodal transportation network will integrate various markets and facilities.
This integrated approach will subsume all existing flagship programmes under different ministries like Bharatmala, Sagarmala, Udaan, Inland waterways, roads, and Bharat Net.
On Tuesday, the IMF forecast a 9.5% growth for India during the current year – the fastest by any major economy. While participating in a TV programme on Wednesday, my view was that India may do still better, due to a series of reform measures undertaken so far and the big infra push in Gati Shakti that will have a multiplier effect in development.
Mishra is a policy analyst and columnist.
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