Pradhan Mantri Gati Shakti Plan – Boosting the Infrastructure Sector in India
Before the Pradhan Mantri Gati Shakti Plan was launched, there was lack of coordination between different government departments leading to inconvenience and wasteful expenditure. The plan aimed at strengthening the country’s last mile connectivity by creating a common umbrella platform through which infrastructure projects could be planned and implemented in an efficient manner between various ministries and departments on a real-time basis.
In October 2021, the Government of India launched the ‘Pradhan Mantri Gati Shakti Plan’ to celebrate 75 years of a progressive India and the glorious history of its people, culture and achievements. Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi inaugurated the Rs. 100 crore (US$ 13.42 million) Gati Shakti Master Plan aimed at providing multi-modal connectivity to more than 1,200 industrial clusters, including the two defence corridors across the country, improving electricity transmission networks, increasing the railway cargo handling capacity ,the cargo capacity at ports and set up mega food parks and electronics manufacturing clusters. This plan boosted the infrastructure sector in India.
The Gati Shakti Scheme incorporates the infrastructure schemes of various ministries and state governments such as UDAN, Bharatmala, Sagarmala, inland waterways, dry/land ports and economic zones clusters including textile clusters, pharmaceutical clusters and defence corridors. The scheme also leverages technology extensively including spatial planning tools with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and imagery developed by Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geoinformatics (BiSAG-N).
Pradhan Mantri Gati Shakti National Master Plan will lay the foundation for holistic infrastructure development. It will help local manufacturers compete globally and bring several employment opportunities to our youth.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) on April 15, 2021
Formation of Empowered Group of Secretaries
The Government of India has constituted a 20-member committee called as the Empowered Group of Secretaries that oversees the development and implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Gati Shakti National Master Plan. This committee will oversee the construction of infrastructure in addition to all utility services on a pilot basis. It brings together 16 crucial ministries such as railway, road, transport, civil aviation, telecommunications and agriculture. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) will be the nodal ministry that will monitor and implement all projects, with a national planning group regularly taking stock.
Gati Shakti Infrastructure Plan Targets
The targets set by the Indian government for 2024-25 for all infrastructure ministries are as follows:
Expanding National Highways
The Ministry of road transport & highways have a target to extend national highways to 0.2 million kilometres, completing four or six-lane national highways of 5,590 kms along coastal areas and connecting all state capitals in the northeast with four-lane national highways or two two-lane national highways.
Increasing Cargo Capacity
For Railway Ministry, has a target to handle 1,600 million tonnes of cargo, decongest 51% of the rail network by completing additional lines and implement two Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs).
For the shipping sector, the target is set at 1,759 million tonne per annum total cargo capacity to be handled at ports.
Doubling the Existing Aviation Footprint
The Ministry of Civil Aviation, has a target to increase the existing aviation footprint and have a total of 220 new airports, heliports and water aerodromes by 2025. This require the development of an additional 109 facilities.
Construction of the Pipeline Network
The government aims at doubling the gas pipeline network to 34,500 kms by building an additional 17,000 km long trunk pipeline that will connect major demand and supply centres for industries.
Extending the Transmission Network
The total power transmission network is targeted to be ~0.5 million circuit km and the renewable energy capacity to be increased to 225 GW.
Boosting the MSME sector
The plan includes constructing 11 industrial corridors, achieving a Rs 1.7 lakh crore (US$ 22.1 billion) turnover in defence production and to have 38 electronics manufacturing clusters and 109 pharmaceutical clusters. This scheme will hugely benefit the MSME sector as it will ensure reach of basic amenities to the remotest areas of the country and enhance business opportunities for inclusive growth.
According to a recent study by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the estimated logistic supply chain costs in India stood at 14% of the GDP. For US and Europe logistic supply chain costs stood at 8–10% of the GDP. Other South Asian countries that have a similar cost structure as India, such as Vietnam and Malaysia, are said to fare better on the World Bank’s logistics performance index. The Pradhan Mantri Gati Shakti Plan, with its many planned activities, will fulfil an ambitious target set by the Government of India for 2024-25 and lower the inefficiencies in supply chains in the country to bring the cost down to 8% of the GDP. The success of some of these infrastructure projects will require political interventions and ways by the central government to coax and incentivise state governments for participation and cooperation.
In conclusion, the Gati Shakti Infrastructure Plan is expected to synchronise the activities of each department, transform the infrastructure sector and provide an integrated, seamless and timely delivery of projects within budgeted costs, motivate private companies to associate with government projects, encourage investments in various development plans and boost the Indian economy.