Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s latest announcement of Gati Shakti infrastructure plan will build upon the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP), rolled out earlier by the government.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday the Gati Shakti project is aimed at creating “an integrated framework” for infrastructure development across the country, which will ensure that various economic hubs are able to better utilise the investments on the sector being done by the government and private players. The government felt the need for creating a kind of a master plan for infra investments, she added.
“It’s a framework which is of great importance and work has been going on … in due course announcements will be made,” she said in a briefing with reporters. A multimodal connectivity of various economic hubs with roads, ports and airports will be part of the Gati Shakti masterplan, which will provide manufacturers faster access to domestic and international markets.
Modi in his Independence Day speech on Sunday said that the government is going to launch a National Infrastructure Master Plan, Gati Shakti, of more than Rs 100 lakh crores that will result in new employment opportunities for lakhs of youth. “Gati Shakti will be a National Infrastructure Master Plan for our country which will lay the foundation of holistic Infrastructure and will lead to an integrated and holistic pathway to our economy. Right now, there is no coordination between our means of transport. Gati Shakti will break the silos, and will remove all these obstacles. This will reduce the travel time for the common man and the productivity of our industry will also increase,” Modi said.
NIP road map
With the economy battered by the pandemic, a government task force had in April last year firmed up a roadmap for capital investments of Rs 111 lakh crore in infrastructure under the National Infrastructure Pipeline over six years through FY25, pledging 71 per cent of the expenditure for energy, roads, urban development and railways, and envisaging a key role for private investors. Sitharaman had asked the Ministries/departments to push infrastructure expenditure by effectively implementing NIP projects in time.
NIP started with 6,835 projects, which has now increased to 8,156. The projects involving $1.9 trillion are spread over 34 sub-sectors with 1,869 projects under development.
The Prime Minister had in his Independence Day speeches of earlier two years made a mention of the infrastructure pipeline. On August 15, 2020, he said the NIP project will play an important role and Rs 110 lakh crore will be spent on this project. “This will also give a new direction and a fresh momentum to the overall infrastructure development of the country,” he had said.
On August 15, 2019, he said the government has decided to invest Rs 100 lakh crore for modern infrastructure. “This will generate employment; will develop new systems and various aspirations will be met. Be it Sagarmala Project or Bharat Mala Project, modern railway stations … we want to develop entire infrastructure,” he had said.