India will launch an ambitious Rs100 trillion ($1.35 trillion) national infrastructure masterplan that seeks to give a foundation for holistic infrastructure and an integrated pathway to the economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday.
The infrastructure programme, “Gati Shakti”, will help generate jobs and expand use of cleaner fuels to achieve the country’s climate goals while boosting productivity of industries and bolster the economy, Modi said during his speech at the Independence Day celebrations in New Delhi.
The prime minister also announced the National Hydrogen Mission – which, according to him will take the country towards progress in the next 25 years, termed as Amrit Kaal.
He said that Gati Shakti would bring employment opportunities to the youth and the government is set to present the “National Master Plan” of the scheme soon.
“We will launch a masterplan for Gati Shakti, a big programme worth more than Rs100 trillion that will create job opportunities for hundreds of thousands,” the prime minister said from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort in the capital city.
While Modi did not announce details of the plan, he said the plan would help local manufacturers compete globally and create new avenues of future economic growth.
“India has moved towards electric mobility and work is underway on 100 per cent electrification of Indian Railways with the aim to become a net-zero carbon emitter by the year 2030,” Modi said.
Outlining the National Hydrogen Mission, he said it would not only help India to make a new progress in the field of energy self-reliance but will also become a new inspiration for clean energy transition all over the world. New opportunities from Green Growth to Green Job are opening up today for our start-ups & youth,” he added.
Modi said the “Can Do” generation can achieve every unimaginable goal. “Our youth is the ‘Can Do’ Generation, and they can achieve everything they set their mind to. Our actions today will determine our future. Our today will set the theme of our 100 years of India’s Independence,” he said.
Infrastructure development is at the heart of Modi’s plan to pull back Asia’s third largest economy from a sharp economic decline worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the last fiscal year, 2020-21, India’s economic output fell by a record 7.3 per cent and a second wave of Covid-19 has delayed economic recovery.
The prime minister also set a target to become energy independent by 2047, saying the goal can be achieved through a mix of electric mobility, moving to a gas-based economy and making the country a hub for hydrogen production.
Modi said the country spends more than Rs12 trillion rupees annually on energy imports and becoming energy independent was critical, as he also announced the launch of a National Hydrogen Mission to boost the government’s clean energy plans.
“India is moving fast towards achieving its climate goals,” he said.
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