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Team Modi sees PM Gati Shakti as a game changer on economic front

India's growth rate beats expectations

The multi-trillion PM Gati Shakti infrastructure programme launched exactly a year ago by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has caught the attention of several global investors especially after Apple’s decision to start manufacturing iPhone 14 in India. A host of multinational companies are also monitoring the progress of Gati Shakti as the government resets its focus on reviving economic growth.

A person familiar with the development said that most key ministries and senior officials have been “clearly instructed” to press the pedal on timely completion of projects. Regular review of the programme and projects already launched is being held at the central and state level as well, he said, adding that a host of multinational companies are looking to either enter India or expand facilities.

“This is the most important exercise for the government and instructions have been given to the stakeholders to ensure that there is no gap left in execution..this will be taken up on a mission mode,” the person said, adding that the exercise is aimed at bringing down the logistics cost while fuelling other critical industries.

While several reports have suggested that the programme is designed to woo away many investors from China, government officials said that it is “only aimed at reviving India’s growth along with the Make in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat schemes.”

“We are looking at our own economy—strengths and weaknesses—Gati Shakti or any other programme has nothing to do with other countries,” he said.

However, interestingly, China is keeping a close watch on the massive exercise.

“Fast-tracking projects will give India an advantage, especially with China still largely closed to the outside world and companies increasingly adopting a China-plus-one policy – finding other countries to expand in or source from – to diversify their businesses and supply chains. Asia’s third-largest economy not only offers cheap labour, but also a talent pool of largely English-speaking workers, even though rickety infrastructure keeps many investors away,” the South China Morning Post said in a report.

Beginning December, India will also assume the presidency of the G20 for a year. The International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva called India a bright spot in the global economy. “India deserves to be called a bright spot on this otherwise darker horizon because it has been a fast growing economy, even during this difficult times, but most importantly, this growth is underpinned by structural reforms,” she said.

Assocham Secretary General Deepak Sood noted that India’s growth opportunities at this juncture are unparalleled.

“There could be short term glitches driven by geopolitical dynamics. India is not decoupled… the global dynamics are impacting all countries but importantly, India is taking all measures to ensure that growth is on track,” he added.