New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday announced a Rs 100 lakh crore Gati Shakti National infrastructure master plan aimed at bringing employment opportunities to the youth and helping develop new economic zones across the country.
However, it is not clear if this is a part of the ambitious Rs 111 lakh-crore national infrastructure pipeline that was announced by the prime minister in his 2019 Independence Day speech or a completely different development plan.
Modi also did not disclose the time span in which the Gati Shakti plan will be implemented nor the funding sources. However, he said the contours of the scheme will be announced in the coming days.
Addressing the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort in the national capital, Modi said Gati Shakti will help India’s local manufacturers turn globally competitive. This will also develop possibilities of new future economic zones, he said, adding that the focus will be on holistic development of infrastructure and transport.
He also stressed on the need for India to increase both manufacturing and exports.
While concentrating on modern infrastructure, India needs to develop new infrastructure with a holistic and integrated approach, this Rs 100 lakh-crore plan will bring employment opportunities for the youth, he said.
The push for infrastructure is in line with the government’s efforts to step up capital expenditure in infrastructure to promote economic growth. The government is of the view that infrastructure development has the ability to create a multiplier effect with every rupee invested, yielding much higher returns.
The government had cited this to justify its decision to not give cash handouts to people impacted by the pandemic and had instead opted to provide more funds to infrastructure.
National Infrastructure Pipeline
The government’s ambitious infrastructure pipeline is envisaged as a mix of public and private investment with the central government and the state governments contributing around 40 per cent of the total funding requirements from budget allocations.
The remaining is estimated to come from the private sector and through funding from a development finance institution.
The spending is envisaged over five years, beginning 2020.
To achieve its targets, the Modi government has been wooing foreign investors, including long-term investors like global pension and insurance funds, with the prime minister himself holding meetings with these investors. The government is also in the process of setting up a development finance institution to help provide long-term funding infrastructure jobs.
(Edited by Manasa Mohan)