"Infrastructure development is the driving force of the country's economy", Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday while expressing confidence that India will emerge as a developed nation by 2047 by following this very path.
"Now we have to improve our speed and move in top gear", he said.
Noting that PM Gati Shakti Master Plan is a critical tool that integrates economic and infrastructural planning with development, the Prime Minister said, "Gati Shakti National Master Plan is going to change the face of India's infrastructure and its multimodal logistics."
Prime Minister Modi made the observation during a Post Budget Webinar on 'Infrastructure and Investment: Improving logistic efficiency with PM Gatishakti National Master Plan'.
Addressing the gathering, he expressed happiness that hundreds of stakeholders took part in the webinar along with more than 700 CEOs and MDs by recognising its importance. He said that this year's Budget will give new energy to infrastructure.
"Infrastructure has a significant role to play in the sustainable development of any country along with development while keeping the needs of the future in mind", the Prime Minister remarked.
He underlined that those who have knowledge of history related to infrastructure are well-versed with this fact. He cited the construction of Uttarapath by Chandragupta Maurya which was carried forward by Ashoka and later upgraded by Sher Shah Suri.
Prime Minister Modi informed that it were the Britishers who turned it into G T Road. "The importance of highways has been acknowledged for centuries in India", the Prime Minister said.
Referring to riverfronts and waterways, the PM cited the example of the Ghats of Banaras which were directly connected to Kolkata via waterways. He also gave the example of the still operational, 2 thousand-year-old Kallanai dam of Tamil Nadu.
Noting the obstacles that came in the way of investments in the infrastructural development of the country by previous governments, the Prime Minister highlighted the prevailing mentality that poverty is a virtue. He underlined that the present government has not only been successful in eliminating this mentality but also in making record investments in modern infrastructure.
The PM informed that India's Capex has increased 5 times compared to 2013-14 and the government is moving with a target of investing 110 lakh crore rupees under the National Infrastructure Pipeline. "This is a time of new responsibilities, new possibilities and bold decisions for every stakeholder, he emphasised.
Prime Minister Modi noted that the results of the PM Gati Shakti Master Plan are becoming visible. "We have identified the gaps that were impacting the logistics efficiency. That is why, in this year's Budget, 100, critical projects have been prioritized and 75,000 crore rupees have been allocated.
He asked the participants to find ways to develop a mechanism for an advanced forecast of the needs of their sectors as various materials are needed for infrastructure development.