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PM Gati Shakti is not just about domestic infra, Asia outreach also on radar

Driven by government expenditure, services sector, India posts healthy GDP growth

India’s aggressive push to boost logistics infrastructure under the PM Gati Shakti has steadily extended to projects outside the country. While in the wake of the upcoming general elections slated next year, all ministries involved in infrastructure development have been asked to expedite the execution of the ongoing projects within the country and adhere to projected timelines, the Centre has pressed the pedal on other mega international projects including the 7,200 km International North South Transport Corridor connecting India with Russia and Iran along with other countries and the 1,400-km India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway, which once completed will not only lead to a boom in trade but also expand tourism and other economic activities.

As India aims to touch the $5 trillion economy, positioning itself as the next factory of the world, completion of these international projects will be critical.

Recently, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that work on the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway is 70 per cent complete.

Though there have been delays in the execution of these projects, work has now picked up with regular monitoring by top authorities. The trilateral highway is expected to be finally extended to Da Nang in Vietnam and Laos.

Amid China’s Belt and Road Initiative, these infrastructure projects will provide India a vantage point in terms of connectivity.

Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the National Logistics Policy to address issues hindering the transport sector and thereby boosting economic activities by reducing costs.

The World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index has placed India in 38th position out of 139 countries in logistics infrastructure this year. While this is an improvement of six notches compared to India’s previous ranking, China and South Africa among the BRICS nations are ahead of New Delhi.

“Monitoring of the projects is an ongoing exercise but now it would be more intense, the centre does not want any unnecessary delay in execution,” an insider told India Narrative.

Gadkari also said that India with 63,72,613 km has become the second-largest country in the world to have the biggest road network, beating China. The US with 68,03,479 km remains in the top position. In 2015, India’s road network stretched 54,00,000 km.

Several multinational companies are also closely monitoring the progress of the infrastructure development programme.

“As PM Modi wants companies to make in India for the world, these infrastructure projects would very crucial as movement of goods will then become easier, seamless and cost effective..one of the major drawbacks for India has been poor infrastructure but that is now changing very fast,” a chief executive of a Japanese company which is planning to expand in India told India Narrative.

Also read: Cabinet approves game changing National Logistics Policy