Dovetailing the National Logistics Policy to be unveiled on Saturday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his birthday with PM GatiShakti, which was announced last year, will create an infrastructural powerhouse to achieve the PM's vision of a developed India.
Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal outlined the merits of PM's National Master Plan or GatiShakti working in conjunction with the new National Logistics Policy.
Goyal said that there are as many 900 data layers available in India and the process of de-layering has begun for ease of doing business and cutting through bottlenecks. Look at the layers available - from transmission lines to telecom towers, from rivers to railways lines, from highways to wildlife sanctuaries, one has to rapidly scale up and create a robust system that reduces costing, planning, designing, tendering and monitoring by filling in the gaps.
He gave the example of JNPT which for years has been grappling with last mile connectivity issues. Now such logjams will be resolved by optimally utilising these data layers. Cement companies for instance are positive on GatiShakti as they have major last mile connectivity issues.
Now we are providing this last mile connectivity to large cement plants by providing railway lines connectivity through conveyor belts for bulk transportation, packaging and stocking, he said.
With coal this is already happening; what used to take half a day to load a rake has been reduced to two hours, bringing in efficiencies.
He gave the example of bringing the Kashmir Valley closer to the rest of India by building the eye-opening Chenab Valley Bridge, a structural marvel.
GatiShakti envisages the development of modern infrastructure through planning, implementation and monitoring, besides cutting down on time and cost overruns of projects. The Prime Minister has also asked corporates to partner with the government and increase investments and contribute in the development of the country, break departmental silos and bring in more holistic and integrated planning and execution of projects with a view to address the issues of multi-modal and last-mile connectivities.
PM Modi had 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."
The importance of GatiShakti cannot be underscored enough because in 2013-14, the direct capital expenditure of the Government of India was about Rs 2.50 lakh crore, which has increased to Rs 7.5 lakh crore in 2022-23. Strengthening the principle of cooperative federalism, the government has made a provision of Rs 1 lakh crore for the assistance of the states in this year's Budget.
The Prime Minister had added that state governments will be able to use this amount on multimodal infrastructure and other productive assets. The National Master Plan has multiple data layers informing not just the existing and proposed infrastructure but also information about the forest land and available industrial estate. Across India. It's integration at a rapid pace will deliver the dividend.