Union Minister for Roads and Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari said the government has been at the forefront of helping the industry by focusing its policies on creating a business-friendly and hassle-free environment. Speaking in a webinar on “Just Doing Business to Promote Investment in the Roads and Motorways Sector,” he said we are going through a very challenging time due to the pandemic, both for the health of the people and the nation’s economy. Now, however, it seems that there are slowly positive things going on around the world. The minister said various initiatives and plans by the Ministry of Roads and Highways speak volumes about the hard work and dedication that has been put into such efforts. He said this rapid and positive approach by the government in the recent past has resulted in faster implementation of government projects.

Shri Gadkari said that having a well-developed infrastructure has several advantages. First, it increases the level of economic activity, improves the government’s revenue base and, finally, ensures that spending is focused on productive areas. He said the COVID-19 pandemic caused a slowdown in India, but due to the supportive policies of the government in all sectors and due to the commitment of everyone involved, India’s GDP grew to a record high of 20.1% in the first quarter of 2021-22 . He said the government gave the economy a massive boost by allocating about $ 1.4 trillion for infrastructure investments through 2025.

Shri Gadkari said the national master plan of the ‘Gati Shakti’ scheme of more than Rs. 100 lakh crores is focused on the holistic and integrated infrastructure development of the country. He said the Gati Shakti Master Plan will set the framework for the National Infrastructure Pipeline program and aim to make Indian products more competitive by reducing logistics costs and improving supply chains. He said the highway sector in India has been at the forefront of performance and innovation, and the government has successfully implemented several projects to accelerate road construction in the country by renewing interest from private developers.

Shri Gadkari said the government had integrated various infrastructure projects into the Infrastructure Vision 2025. He said that under his chairmanship a ministerial-level infrastructure group was set up to resolve permit or clearance issues related to the environment and forest, railway defense and civil aviation. Regarding green initiatives, the minister said that we are promoting the installation of solar panels, rainwater harvesting and artificial groundwater recharge systems along the highways.

Shri Gadkari said the government is in the process of establishing a new Development Finance Institution (DFI) to facilitate long-term infrastructure investments. He said the increasing use of advanced technologies such as drone surveying, network survey vehicles and LiDAR (light detection and ranging) technology for design and surveying will be extremely helpful in India’s vision of building world-class infrastructure. He said the complex tax structure and paperwork has now been replaced with a simpler and more efficient system under the new GST regime. Every single step from the tender to the payment to the contractor is now digitized.

(With inputs from PIB)

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