Gati Shakti: A much-needed development fast track

Gati Shakti, The availability of quality infrastructure, which decreases trade and transaction costs and boosts factor productivity, is one of the primary components that matters to overall competitiveness and productivity-led growth, along with policy reforms and ease of doing business. Infrastructure development has been prioritized in recent years, with increased budgetary allocations and legislative reforms aimed at attracting private investment.

On the other hand, the infrastructure industry has been hampered by a widening supply-demand mismatch, insufficient investment, growing reliance on the private sector, and an underdeveloped finance sector.

In recent years, India’s infrastructure has improved significantly. However, the country’s plan to become a $5 trillion economy with a higher manufacturing percentage of GDP has been hampered by infrastructure constraints. India was ranked 70th on infrastructural characteristics in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2019, behind China (36th) and other significant Asian economies such as Malaysia and South Korea. India’s condition appears to be considerably worse in terms of utility infrastructure.

One of the most severe issues in infrastructure development is a lack of coordination among different infrastructure sectors, ministries, and departments, which results in cost and time overruns and inefficient resource allocation.

Infrastructure projects require authorization and approval from various ministries and departments, with timely coordination being critical. Gati Shakti, an ambitious national master plan for multimodal connectivity, is a significant step forward in this regard. It provides a centralized and integrated high-tech platform for numerous government departments to develop and execute infrastructure projects.

The mega plan brings together 16 vital central ministries, including railways, roads and highways, petroleum and gas, power, telecom, shipping, and aviation, under one digital platform for integrated planning and coordinated implementation. It also incorporates all infrastructure initiatives — Bharatmala, Sagarmala, UDAN, inland waterways, and dry/land ports — of various ministries and state governments. The planned multi-modal connectivity of vital economic zones such as agriculture, fishing clusters, electronic parks, textile and pharmaceutical clusters, industrial and defense corridors will ensure the seamless movement of goods and people across the country, resulting in much-needed logistics efficiency and cost competitiveness. Gati Shakti is anticipated to assist in achieving the proposed national logistics policy’s goal.

Despite these efforts, the infrastructure sector’s success is hampered by a lack of cooperation among many ministries and departments, often working in silos. This is because the infrastructure sector is divided across several ministries and departments, each set of goals. This diverse group of stakeholders causes a slew of approvals and clearance delays, resulting in project time and expense overruns. Because Gati Shakti’s primary goal is to bring all stakeholders together under one umbrella with a shared vision, it’s hoped that this high-tech mega plan will hasten the completion of infrastructure projects and assist the country meet its five-trillion-dollar economic aim by 2025.

, , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.