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New Delhi [India], September 23 (ANI): The government has been at the forefront in supporting the industry by re-aligning its policies towards creating a business-friendly and hassle-free environment, said Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday.
"We are passing through a very challenging time, both on account of the health of people and the economy of the nation due to the pandemic. However, now there seems to be positivity slowly coming all around across the globe," said the Union Minister while addressing a webinar on 'Ease of Business for Driving Investment in Roads and Highways Sector'.
The Minister said various initiatives and schemes of the Roads and Highways Ministry speaks volumes of the hard work and commitment that has gone into such efforts. He also said this prompt and positive approach of the government in the recent past has led to an increase in speedy implementation of government projects.
Gadkari further said in his address that a well-developed infrastructure has multiple benefits. "Firstly, it increases the level of economic activity, it improves the revenue base of the government, and lastly ensures expenditure is focused on productive areas," he highlighted.
The Minister said the COVID-19 pandemic had caused a slowdown in India, but due to the supportive policies of the government across all sectors and due to the commitment of all stakeholders, India's GDP in Quarter-1 of 2021-22 grew to a record high of 20.1 per cent. He said the government has given a massive push to the economy by allocating about 1.4 trillion dollars for infrastructure to be invested until 2025.
Gadkari also said the National Master Plan of 'Gati Shakti' scheme of more than Rs 100 lakh crores is focused on holistic and integrated infrastructure development in the country. He said the Gati Shakti Master Plan will provide the framework for the National Infrastructure Pipeline program and is aimed at making Indian products more competitive by cutting down the logistics costs and improving the supply chains. He said the highways sector in India has been at the forefront of performance and innovation and the government has successfully rolled out several projects to speed up the construction of roads in the country by renewing the interest of private developers.
Reiterating the government's initiatives, Gadkari said the government has integrated various infrastructure projects under the Infrastructure Vision 2025. He said a Minister level Group of Infrastructure has been created under his chairmanship to resolve approval or clearance issues related to environment and forest, railways defence and civil aviation. Towards green initiatives, the Minister said we are encouraging the installation of solar panels, rain-water harvesting, and artificial groundwater recharge systems along the highways.
Gadkari said to facilitate long-term investment into infrastructure, the government is in a process of setting up a new Development Finance Institution (DFI). He said the growing use of advanced technologies such as drone survey recording, network survey vehicles and LiDAR technology (light detection and ranging) for designing and surveys will be extremely helpful for India's vision of establishing world-class infrastructure. He said complex tax structure and paperwork has now been replaced by a simpler and efficient system under the new GST regime. He said each and every stage from tendering to payment to contractors has now been digitalized. (ANI)