‘Infrastructure key for India’s 9-10 percent growth ambition’

Mumbai, Feb 16 (IANS) India’s ability to grow at the rate of nine to 10 percent annually will depend on its calibre to create top class infrastructure in size, scale and speed, said a top official on Tuesday.

“To grow at 9-10 percent per annum will be its (India’s) ability to create top class infrastructure of size, scale and speed. The challenge is the enormous demand in India. The key is our ability to structure projects and create SPVs (special purpose vehicles,” said Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Secretary Amitabh Kant at seminar “Industrial Corridors: Drivers for India’s Economic Growth”.

Benchmarking the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) as the one of the best in the world, he said the 1,500 km industrial corridor’s planned infrastructure will go even below the city.

“Today, it takes 14 days for goods to reach the ports in west India from the north. (Once) The corridor will be ready in 2018, goods will reach the ports in 14 hours,” said Kant at the seminar organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMICDC).

Other corridors, Amritsar-Kolkata, Chennai-Bengaluru, Chennai-Vizag and Mumbai- Bengaluru, will sharply cut logistical costs, he said.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Secretary Anthony J. C. DeSa said that industries must be challenged not to just grow along the corridors, but become engines of growth.

He said Madhya Pradesh will be developing three industrial corridors including Bhopal-Indore industrial corridor which is within the DMIC, seven smart cities and 34 ‘Amrit’ cities with an investment of Rs.75,000 crore in the next five years.

DMICDC CEO and managing director Alkesh Kumar Sharma said the earlier critical notion of considering urbanization a western phenomenon have given way to hail cities as engines of growth.

“India will double its urbanisation in the next two decades, with 700 million people moving into cities. Cities will create 75 percent of India’s growth. That is the growth story India has to look at,” he said.

Sharma highlighted that the various proposed industrial corridors are being planned by some of the best global master consultants.

“They have been layered with ICT planning and are being developed in a sustainable manner, with minimal commuting, minimal land use, recycling and reuse of water, IT based with excellent connectivity,” he said.

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