NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the government considers infrastructure development as the driving force of the economy and this will help India become a developed country by 2047.
Addressing a post-Budget webinar on infrastructure and investment, he said that this year's budget imparts new energy to the growth of the infrastructure sector in the country.
"We consider infrastructure development as the driving force of the economy; India will achieve the target of becoming a developed nation by 2047 by following this path," Modi said.
He said that now there is a need to increase the pace of this development and move in top gear and in this Prime Minister Gati Shakti national master plan would play a critical role.
He added that the government is working to create modern infrastructure in all areas such as roads, railways, ports and airports. It would help in enhancing the competitiveness of businesses and reduce logistics cost.
Prime Minister Modi said the government's capital expenditure or capex has increased 5 times as compared to 2013-14.
Under the National Infrastructure Pipeline, the government is aiming to invest Rs 110 lakh crore in the coming time.
Presenting the Union Budget in the Lok Sabha on February 1, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced hiking the capital expenditure by 33 per cent to Rs 10 lakh crore for infrastructure development for 2023-24.
"Infrastructure has always been important in the development of any country. Those who study the history related to infrastructure know this very well," Modi said as he cited several examples from India.
Modi further said that for decades thinking dominated in India that poverty is a virtue and earlier governments faced difficulty in investing in the country's infrastructure.
"Our government has not only pulled the country out of this thinking, but it is also making record investments in modern infrastructure," he said.
As a result, he said, the average annual construction of national highways has nearly doubled since 2014, and electrification of railways lines has increased to 4,000 route kilometres from 600 route kilometres.
He also pointed out that the number of airports have increased to around 150 from 74 in 2014.
"We consider infrastructure development as the driving force of the country's economy. Following this path, India will achieve the target of becoming a developed nation by 2047. Now we have to increase our speed further. Now we have to go in top gear," Modi said.
Modi said the Gati Shakti National Master Plan is going to rejuvenate India's infrastructure and multimodal logistics.