Terming infrastructure building as a “major challenge”, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has said the country requires $1 trillion for the development of new roads, ports and airports over the next few years.
Upgrading infrastructure is a major challenge for policy makers of the Asia’s third largest economy and India needs about $1 trillion (about Rs 67,00,000 crore) for new roads, ports and airports over the next few years, Gadkari said at the inaugural edition of Rajya Sabha Television’s new flagship programme ‘Spotlight’.
He said the NDA government is set to transform India’s infrastructure and added there is no dearth of funds for this priority area.
“Money is not a problem, mentality is. Unfortunately we have a demoralised bureaucracy,” Gadkari said.
Confident of removing bureaucratic hurdles in the way of road projects, the minister said companies in the sector are victims of the government’s indecisiveness and the need for multiple approvals.
He said the government had several rounds of discussions with bankers and contractors to clarify issues relating to land acquisition and project approval.
“In the next five years we are going to change the infrastructure of this country. I know my work, I am doing it,” he added.
Building of infrastructure will add 2 per cent to the India’s GDP growth, said the minister.
Gadkari said his ministry is working on a target of 30 km of new roads per day by March 31 besides working towards achieving an ambitious target of 100 km a day.
On the forthcoming Budget, the minister said he is expecting an increased allocation for his ministry to speed up road construction.
He said the ministry expected additional Rs 15â€“20,000 crore in the Union Budget for 2016-17, over the current year’s outlay of Rs 45,000 crore.
Gadkari, who is also the minister for waterways, expressed disappointment over the treatment accorded to Inland waterways.
“My priority is waterways. We have a Rs 45,000 crore budget for roads, but only have Rs 1,000 cr for waterways,” he said adding his government will focus on developing the sector.