NEW DELHI: Efforts are on to bolster the economy and create five crore jobs, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday.
The government is according high priority to the economy but at the same time, security issues are also important and the government cannot work in "silos", the minister said at the Agenda Aaj Tak 2019 here.
The road transport, highways and MSME minister said situation is challenging but the Indian economy, which is the fastest-growing economy, will progress fast.
"The mission is to create five crore jobs. We are giving attention to the economy. Developing infrastructure, rural agriculture and tribal development is also our priority," Gadkari said.
In reply to a question, Gadkari said, "There is an integrated approach. India's economy is important but security is also important. The government has to work on various subjects at a time. We are giving attention to the economy. Developing infrastructure, rural agriculture and tribal development is equally important," he said.
He added that the government does not run in silos and has to take care of all aspects. The minister said comprehensive plans are on to develop MSMEs that account for 29 per cent of the growth.
On the front of the highway, the minister said that work worth Rs 17 lakh crore will be done in five years, including projects worth Rs 2 lakh crore by March and Rs 3 lakh crore in the next year.
"Highways and shipping combined had witnessed work worth Rs 17 lakh crore during the previous five years," he added.
About accidents, he said that unfortunately, these could not be reduced despite a number of steps but efforts are on including Rs 14,000-crore projects funded by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to correct highways designing.
India accounts for 5 lakh accidents per annum in which 1.5 lakh people are killed. He said the country needs 22 lakh more drivers and efforts are on to establish driving training institutes and lamented that about 30 per cent of the driving licensees are bogus in the country.
About highway projects, he said these include Rs 1.30-lakh crore Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, Rs 10,000 Dwarka expressway and Rs 50,000 crore worth of projects to decongest Delhi.
In reply to a political question about the government in Maharashtra, he said the alliance there was "unnatural" and would be short-lived.
Participating in the event, Commerce and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said the country has got an industrious Prime Minister in Narendra Modi who involves himself in discussions on issues but the Prime Ministers' Office (PMO) never interferes in the decision-making process.
He said that in the past over 5 years, there has been no interference from the PMO.