Port-led development to be given highest priority: Nitin Gadkari

Port-led development to be given highest priority: Nitin Gadkari

Developing sustainable infrastructure in the country remains the highest priority of the current government said Mr Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping, Government of India while speaking on ‘Unleashing growth through industrial corridors’ at a Plenary Session of the CII Partnership Summit 2017 being organized in Visakhapatnam by the Confederation of Indian Industry with in collaboration with the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Government of India and Government of Andhra Pradesh.

The port of Visakhapatnam remains an arterial port connecting many manufacturing hubs and industrial clusters and so the Government has invested over Rs 6,000 crore in further developing the Visakhapatnam port. To reduce the logistics costs within the country the Government has taken up development of coastal economic zones through the Sagar Mala Project. This Sagar Mala project is expected to bring in investments of over Rs 8 lakh crore and generate over 1 crore employment.

Mr Gadkari also said that initiatives are being taken to connect inland waterways with ports. As the state of Chhattisgarh at the centre of all mining industries, it needs better connectivity with ports. He assured the government of Andhra Pradesh that a national highway will connect Raipur and Visakhapatnam.

Mr N Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of Andhra, stated that Andhra Pradesh is blessed with a long coast line and abundant inland waterways backed by strong and stable governance and sustainable infrastructure and these factors will give added advantage to investors. He also said that the all developmental benefits will reach the
common man. He also thanked the Central government for extending their support for development of Buckingham Canal that would facilitate development of waterways logistics.

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Highlighting the fact that there can be no better place to deliberate on the topic of growth potential through industrial corridors, Mr Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry said that two major Industrial corridors – East Coast Industrial Corridor and Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Economic Corridor pass through Andhra Pradesh.

India’s GDP will grow if there is focus on creating employment opportunities for the youth, create an export model economy and work towards a sustainable growth. Government of India’s initiatives of developing industrial corridors will further these goals, said Mr Alkesh Sharma, CEO, Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMICDC). The 5 industrial corridors proposed for development by the Government of India will be running across the length and breadth of the country connecting the major manufacturing hubs and facilitating development of new industrial clusters. These industrial corridors will encourage world class infrastructures development, generate employment, enhance GDP, bring regional development and help promote Make in India campaign. It will also increase the share of manufacturing in GDP, improve the efficiency of logistics supply chain, promote FDI and facilitate better utilisation of resources.

Giving investors ample reasons to invest in the industrial corridor development projects, Mr Sharma added that the government will extend all support to investors by providing large land parcels, ease of doing business environment, environmental clearance and ICT enabled infrastructure. Two of the major nodes of the proposed industrial corridors pass through Andhra Pradesh and therefore this state will be the hub of industrial growth in time to come, he added.

Mr Sharma also focused on the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, Dholera Special Investment Region, Aurangabad Industrial Corridor, and Integrated Industrial Township in Greater Noida which are envisaged to be world class destinations with efficient infrastructure opportunities. Government of India has also planned for developing a world class International Exhibition and Convention Centre in Delhi by 2019.

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Ms Johanna Boestel, Principal Economist, Asian Development Bank in her presentation focused on the role of Asian Development Bank in developing industrial corridors. ADB has approved $631 million loan for building India’s first coastal industrial corridor between Visakhapatnam (Vizag) and Chennai. The coastal industrial corridor is expected to boost development on eastern coast of India and enable seamless trade links with other parts of Southeast and South Asia. This industrial corridor will facilitate growth and development along the four main centres — Visakhapatnam, Amaravati, Kakinada and Yerpedu-Srikalahasti.

Mr M T Krishna Babu, Chairman, Visakhapatnam Port Trust said that the logistics cost in India is way too high compared to other developed countries and therefore both central and state government are focusing on developing better rail, roads, inland waterways and air facilities to help reduce the logistic cost. He also appreciated the vision of Mr N Chandrababu Naidu to develop one port per 100 km and connect all the inland waterways and ports for improved transportation of goods and raw materials to industrial clusters. Investors always look for availability of land, power and basic amenities before going ahead with their projects and in a state like Andhra Pradesh which is headed by a dynamic and visionary leader, he assured total support to all the investors. He also said that petrochemicals, cement, leather goods and apparel industry will be the focus area of Andhra Pradesh as they have great potential if well connected to the market in India and world over.

Industry goes where there is infrastructure, said Mr Rajiv Agarwal, Essar Shipping Ports and Logistics Limited, urging the government to give infrastructure priority sector lending status in order to facilitate better development. He appreciated the central and Andhra Pradesh state governments’ initiatives for developing industrial corridors which in turn will facilitate sustainable infrastructural development.

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An MoU worth Rs 75,000 crore was signed between NHAI and Government of Andhra Pradesh, and another MoU
worth Rs 23,000 crore was signed between NHAI and CRDA for developing a 426 km road in Amaravati region. Axis Mobility Pvt Ltd and Government of Andhra Pradesh signed an MoU for manufacturing and operations of e-mobility buses powered by renewable energy.

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