India’s US$1.3 trillion infrastructure plan
By Andy Brown16 August 2021
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has renewed a pledge to spend 100 trillion rupee (US$1.3 trillion) on infrastructure. Modi made his speech at an event celebrating India’s 75th Independence Day in the country’s capital, New Delhi.
Modi said that the investment would boost the productivity of industries and the economy and create job opportunities for, “hundreds of thousands,” of people.
He added that it would help make, “local manufacturers globally competitive,” and “Reduce the travel time for the common man and the productivity of our industry will also increase.”
During his speech Modi did not give details about a time frame for the plan and critics have noted that the Prime Minister has made similar pledges in the past.
The Indian government has been investing heavily in infrastructure in recent years - in July a new report, Construction in India, by India Infrastructure Research, estimated a pipeline of around US$1.5 trillion would be spent by 2024 on infrastructure. Over 70% of this was for four infrastructure sectors: energy (24%), roads (19%), urban infrastructure (16%) and railways (13%).
India’s economy contracted by 7.3% in its last fiscal year as the country suffered badly due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Infrastructure investment is seen as a way of stimulating the economy.
In his speech Modi also pledged to make India energy independent by 2047 and said that he wanted Indian railways to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030.