Infrastructure development has been at the core of the government’s efforts since 2014 to fuel economic growth.
The focus has not only been on physical infrastructure but also digital infrastructure.
The digital infrastructure created through the UPI initiative has been a singular success.
The ease of payment achieved by UPI could not have been visualised, and today one can buy a cup of tea from a street food vendor and make the payment electronically, utilising the UPI platform.
The strength of the banking sector was in having a large branch network, but the robust digital infrastructure has led to accessible financial services to citizens without having to visit a bank. Similar digital initiatives like Bharat Net—providing broadband access to 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats; Aadhaar; Ayushman Bharat Digital Health Mission, etc., are important parts of the digital infrastructure that enables financial and social inclusion, and people-centric governance.
The creation of physical infrastructure is equally important with its multiplier effect on economic growth.
Good quality infrastructure improves productivity and for economic growth to be sustained, the growth has to be based on improving productivity.
As it creates jobs, boosts private investment in core sectors, reduces logistic costs for the economy, improves the competitiveness of the manufacturing industry in domestic and global markets, enhances government tax revenues, and improves ease of living for citizens.
PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan:
It is launched by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry- is a programme that includes 16 Ministries (including Railways & Roadways) for integrated planning and coordinated implementation of infrastructure connectivity projects.
It leverages a dynamic Geographic Information System (GIS) based ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) platform planned in collaboration with Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics (BISAG-N), wherein data on specific action plans of all the concerned Ministries/Departments, will be incorporated within a comprehensive database.
Giving advance guidance to the market of investment needs is a starting point. NIP is a step in that direction. Focus on timely completion and willingness of the government to step in when needed, helps in building investor confidence.
GatiShakti is an initiative towards this end. Innovative methods of augmenting finance by understanding financial markets and offering diverse products is the other aspect of the solution.
As part of the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP), NHAI has launched its InvIT (Infrastructure Investment Trust) to monetise road projects.