New Delhi: With the economy recovering from the grip of a ravaging pandemic and requiring constant push to reach the size of $5 trillion by 2025, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday made mega announcements for infrastructure building and energy security.
In his eighth Independence Day address from the historic Red Fort, Modi said that the Rs 100 lakh crore PM Gati Shakti Plan would be launched in coming days. In a major push to green energy in the country, he announced a National Hydrogen Mission.
The additional infrastructure building plan is set to increase government spending and support the economy which contracted 7.3 per cent in 2020-21, its worst performance since Independence.
The PM Gati Shakti plan is being seen as an add-on to the Rs 111 lakh crore National Infrastructure Plan (NIP) which covers all key sectors such as road, port, airport, railways, energy and urban development.
Economists and public policy experts have recommended enhanced government spending to support growth and employment.
The government has been coming up with stimulus packages ever since the pandemic hit the country and a nationwide lockdown was announced. The stimulus package, often referred as Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan, has been a mix of fiscal, monetary and reform measures.
Under this, country’s 80 crore poor people are being provided with free ration. The worst-hit MSME sector is being extended loans at concessional rates besides a host of other measures to support the affected sector.
In the series, the government had in June this year announced a new stimulus package worth Rs 6.28 lakh crore to boost the selected Covid-affected sectors.
The Prime Minister today highlighted the rapid pace of work going on in the country in improving both rail and air connectivity and noted that 100% road connectivity had been achieved in rural areas.
“The way airport development work is going on and air connectivity improving today is unprecedented,” the Prime Minister said in his Independence Day address.
Announcing the National Hydrogen Mission, the Prime Minister said that among all the programmes and works being carried out today in the country the one which would help India make quantum jump is the area of green hydrogen.
“Under the National Flag, I am announcing the National Hydrogen Mission,” the Prime Minister added.
He said that it was essential that India becomes energy-independent to become self-reliant.
The PM said that India will have to take the pledge of becoming energy independent before the nation celebrates 100 years of Independence in 2047.
He also announced that in the 75 weeks of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav (the 75th Anniversary of Indian Independence) 75 Vande Bharat trains will connect the length and breadth of the country.
While making his Independence Day speech, PM Modi emphasised on local manufacturing and exports while focussing on quality. He urged the manufacturers to ensure quality as the products shipped out from the country acts as brand ambassadors for the nation.
He noted, “As long as those products would be in use, people would say, yes, it’s Made-in-India.”
Modi also urged departments of both the central and state government to review their rules and processes in order to throw away all those which are acting as bottlenecks and irritants.