Speaking at the CII Annual Session 2023, Shri Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways, emphasized the rising potential in India's tourism sector, citing the well-functioning road and transportation connectivity that has made tourism more affordable and accessible for people across income levels.
To further enhance the sector's planning and development, the Minister urged cooperation from the private sector in developing road-side amenities, restaurants, charging stations, and helipads. He also highlighted various government projects, such as multi-modal parks, cold storages, dry ports, and satellite ports, aimed at facilitating trade.
Addressing the pillars of ethics, economy, and ecology, Minister Gadkari stressed the importance of emphasizing environmental protection in all developmental activities. He emphasized the need to reduce India's dependence on imported fossil fuels, highlighting the prioritization of ethanol, methanol, electric cars, bio-CNG, and bio-LNG in public transport to reduce pollution. He mentioned hydrogen fuel as a futuristic option. The Minister also noted India's progress in electric vehicle (EV) production, surpassing Japan to become the third-largest producer, with the aim of becoming the global leader in EV production within five years. He expressed confidence that India would not only be an importer but also a major exporter of energy.
Recognizing India's lower paying capacity, the Minister highlighted the need for cost-effective transport models, with the government actively working to improve road connectivity in hilly areas. He emphasized the importance of credit ratings in enhancing quality and speed.
Minister Gadkari urged the private sector to seize the increasing investment opportunities in the sector, given the rising economic viability, per-capita GDP, and opportunities. He emphasized that entrepreneurship and adequate investments are crucial in realizing Prime Minister Modi's vision of making India a super economic power.
Sanjiv Bajaj, President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), commended Minister Gadkari for his innovative approach to project implementation and technological advancements in the road and transport sector. Bajaj applauded the Minister's initiatives, including the construction of multi-modal logistics parks, emergency landing strips, and the Motor Vehicles Scrap Policy aimed at curbing pollution. He highlighted CII's active involvement in similar areas and stressed the importance of faster dispute resolution and the release of arbitration payments to foster stronger industry-government partnerships.