Centre’s direct capital expenditure jumped 200% to ₹7.5 lakh crore in 9 years: PM

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the government will roll out from April 1 a well-planned, comprehensive, and full proof mechanism to implement integrated infrastructure development worth 7.5 lakh crore for FY23 under the PM GatiShakti initiative.

“PM GatiShakti has a major role in improving infrastructure efficiency,” he said at a webinar on the vision of GatiShakti and its convergence with Union Budget 2022. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget speech on February 1 announced GatiShakti as one of the four priorities of economic development.

PM sought suggestions from participants in the webinar, how to effectively implement PM GatiShakti in the coming financial year from April 1 as envisaged in the Budget. According to the Budget 2022-23, the PM GatiShakti National Master Plan encompasses the 7 engines for economic transformation — roads, railways, airports, ports, mass transport, waterways, and logistics infrastructure.

“The projects pertaining to these 7 engines in the National Infrastructure Pipeline [NIP] will be aligned with PM GatiShakti framework. The touchstone of the Master Plan will be world-class modern infrastructure and logistics synergy among different modes of movement – both of people and goods – and location of projects. This will help raise productivity, and accelerate economic growth and development,” according to the Budget speech.

The government has already announced a 111 lakh crore NIP for the next 4-5 years and GatiShakti will help 16 ministries in integrated execution of these projects.

Stressing on the integrated approach, PM said it also aims to reduce the logistics costs in India. “Even today, the logistic cost in India is considered to be 13-14% of GDP [gross domestic product]. This is more than other countries. PM GatiShakti has a huge role in improving infrastructure efficiency,” he said.

According to commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal, the integrated digital platform for infrastructure development — PM Gati Shakti — has a potential to reduce logistics costs from 13% to 8% in the next 4-5 years, which may lead to savings of about 20 lakh crore for an economy of $5 trillion. HT reported it on October 15, 2021. The commerce and industry ministry is the nodal point for implementation of the PM GatiShakti.

The Prime Minister said a Unified Logistic Interface Platform (ULIP) provided in this budget will reduce logistics cost. “24 Digital Systems of 6 ministries are being integrated through ULIP. This will create a National Single Window Logistics Portal which will help in reducing the logistics cost,” he added.

PM Modi said the government is making huge capital investments to spur growth and create employment, which requires an integrated approach. “In the year 2013-14, the direct capital expenditure of the Government of India was about 2.5 lakh crore, which has increased to 7.5 lakh crore in the year 2022-23,” he said.

“Infrastructure Planning, Implementation and Monitoring will get a new direction from PM GatiShakti. This will also bring down the time and cost overrun of the projects,” he added.

The Prime Minister suggested that both state governments and private investors should use it for better planning and reducing compliance burden. The GatiShakti will ensure true public-private partnership in infrastructure creation from infrastructure planning to development and utilisation stage, he said.

India, which aspires to become a $5 trillion economy by 2025, is adopting several innovative methods for ease of compliance and using new age technology to reduce time and cost overrun. PM GatiShakti is part of the same initiative.

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