Investment in ports, shipping and logistics sector needs to be quadrupled to bring them up to international standards, Minister of State for Industry Ashwani Kumar said on Wednesday.
"Our shipping and logistics infrastructure is far below international standards. We need to improve on speed and cost of handling of cargo. Investment in shipping needs to be quadrupled," the minister said at a summit on ports, shipping and logistics here.
He said India's share in the global trade stood at only 1.4 per cent, which is around US$ 448 billion.
"Seventy-five per cent of this trade is through ports. If we make our port infrastructure world-class, it can lead to an increase of two per cent in the country's GDP year after year," Kumar said adding that ports also provide an immense employment opportunity for blue-collared workers.
Denying that foreign direct investment inflows in the country were petering out in the sector, the minister said Dubai Port, PSA of Singapore and a Spanish company have invested in India.
The Minister stressed the need for policy intervention in the construction/infrastructure sector, saying "there is a need to mitigate job losses. The construction sector employs 32 million people and it services 142 other industries."
On the manufacturing sector, Kumar said if a fillip was provided to the sector, it would lead to an increase in the country's GDP.
"Ideally, manufacturing should contribute 30 per cent to the country's GDP from the 17 per cent currently. We are giving all the impetus required to boost the manufacturing sector and push GDP from 9 per cent to 12 per cent through this," he said.