Neighboring nations reveal interest in PM Gati Shakti Master Plan

The Prime Minister Gati Shakti Master Plan is garnering international interest and could be shared with neighboring countries to aid infrastructure planning, a government official said.

The plan which aims to reduce logistics costs in India to bring it at par with developed nations may first be offered to Bangladesh for cross-border infrastructure projects before a separate product is developed for overseas project planning and execution, the official said in anonymity.

Moreover, he informed that nations that are eyeing to get on board may get limited access to the PM Gati Shakti website to experience how projects are brought from the drawing board to execution.

“We have had a meeting with Bangladesh hosted by the World Bank. The Japanese side has also shown great interest. The Union government may decide to share the tech used in PM Gati Shakti. Bangladesh certainly wants to plan certain policy interventions, and they tried to learn about these policy interventions to maybe replicate that in their country,” the official said.

“Gati Shakti is also relevant for the ministry of external affairs for international cooperation. So we’ve had a workshop with the ministry, and two to three things have been identified for taking further, which are international projects for infrastructure related to railways or roadways. Even areas like cargo terminals have been identified to be taken up with different countries, including Bangladesh and Sri Lanka,” the official added.

Fragmented and unorganized, India’s logistics sector is plagued by high costs, accounting for 14-15% of GDP, which is much higher than that of developed nations such as Singapore and the US which have kept their logistics costs below 7-8% of GDP. 

With the introduction of the National Logistics Policy (NLP) and PM Gati Shakti, Indian aims to integrate the logistics sector and bring costs down to 8% in the next five years.

Earlier, Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had asked NITI Aayog to map various infrastructure projects in the country, including the industrial corridors, freight corridors, PM Mitra Parks, and defense corridors, and bring them under the PM Gati Shakti scheme for optimum utilization of resources.

“Among other types of projects identified for the use of PM Gati Shakti are international projects such as Chabahar Port, if the host country is willing and is keen on cooperating. We are also considering sharing of technology with other countries, on mutually agreed terms, on a financial or non-financial basis for adoption or development of similar systems by those countries, which can help them plan their infrastructure,” the first official said.

The government plans to offer its, PM Gati Shakti model to nations where India is already implementing projects. Later, India might look into extending this offer to other interested countries. The master plan will be portrayed as a unique product using state-of-the-art technology, which will reform governance, especially project implementation and management.

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