Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan on 13 October to provide multi-modal connectivity infrastructure to various economic zones. The project is the brainchild of the prime minister who has been a strong advocate of ending silos in government functioning and bringing more inter-departmental and ministerial synergies. The prime minister had announced 'PM Gati Shakti, National Master Plan' in his Independence Day speech on 15 August this year.
The launch of the Gati Shakti master plan is a momentous occasion for an Atmanirbhar Bharat in the making. The project is yet another leaf from Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi’s inclusive development repertoire, which has brought about paradigm shifts in governance and age-old frameworks across the spectrum. Right from reforms such as “One Nation One Market” to “One Sun, One World, One Grid” to “One Nation, One Ration Card”, in one scheme after another, PM Modi has sought to bind fragmented systems together with a unified, all-encompassing approach.
The Gati Shakti vision will do just as its name suggests, ie, lend more power and speed to projects under the $1.5-trillion National Infrastructure Pipeline by sharing resources and developing synergies towards building a more harmonised infrastructure. It will ensure last-mile connectivity to economic zones in a definite timeframe. The aim is to ultimately improve India’s productive capacity and global competitiveness with regard to manufacturing in India.
The pandemic has dealt a body blow to targets across ministries, putting a spanner in India's future growth plans. Given that our ambitious mission of a $5-trillion economy stands undeterred, it is fitting for India to not just build new supply-side capacities that can set the wheels of growth in motion, but also build them in the most optimal manner.
With Gati Shakti, India will also get its foot in the door to build an integrated, harmonised transportation and logistics grid. Currently, logistics and supply chain costs account for 12 per cent to 13 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), compared to the global average of 8 per cent. An excessive dependence on transportation by road and the under-utilisation of waterways, air and rail networks has also ballooned costs for the supply chain industry. Supply chain inefficiencies add to product costs, and thus, run the risk of making our exports uncompetitive vis-à-vis other international export players.
A multimodal transportation network will not only provide manufacturers faster access to domestic and international markets, but will have a multiplier effect on the economy too. It will ensure that infrastructure investments flowing into the country are better utilised by our economic hubs, and open the doors for new future economic zones.