July 12, 2016: India’s Minister for Road Transport, Highways & Shipping, Nitin Gadkari is now on a visit to the US seeking US cooperation in India’s infrastructure projects. The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) hosted a luncheon discussion with the Minister yesterday (July 11) when he outlined to a distinguished audience of senior executives of U.S. and Indian companies, his vision and plans to strengthen India’s infrastructure and the investment opportunities in port-led developmental activities ,road construction, developing coastal economic zones, construction of new berths/ terminals in existing ports like Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), Mumbai and Kandla Ports, capital and maintenance dredging, mechanization, hinterland connectivity, ship building, ship repairing and ship recycling. The total investment proposal would be to the tune of 150-160 billion USD.
This visit follows the ambitious Sagarmala project unveiled by his Ministry in the recent Maritime India Summit held in Mumbai for the port led development of the country utilising the advantage of India’s vast resources like a coastline of 7,500kms, 212 ports, 70 coastal districts, 111 waterways and the large volume of import-export trade handled at the ports. The current visit of the Minister is in pursuance of the road map outlined in this project. The Minister is accompanied by a delegation comprising Alok Srivastava, Additional Secretary (Shipping), Rohit Kumar Singh, Joint Secretary (Highways), Abhay Damley, Joint Secretary (Transport), Private Secretary Vaibhav Dange and OSD (Shipping) Rajgopal Sharma. The Minister’s schedule includes visiting New York City State Transport Department to understand their intelligent transport management, City Traffic management and control centre and other technology based transport solutions. He will have series of interactions with investors. He will also visit St.Louis to understand their Inland Waterways system.
The Ministry of Shipping had earlier established an Investment Facilitation Cell in Indian Ports Association to follow up on the investment opportunities that emerged from the Maritime India Summit 2016.
Speaking to investors, Minister Gadkari said, “Prime Minister Modi has made the country’s infrastructure development the top-most priority of the government. We are committed to improving the country’s road, highways, and port connectivity in a time-bound, result oriented, corruption-free and transparent manner that includes e-governance and fast-tracking decision-making. The pace of road construction has accelerated to an all-time high of 20 kilometers per day and next year we plan to increase it to 41 km per day. This is a golden opportunity to invest in India.”