Gadkari describes landmark US visit as a ‘grand success’
Union minister of road transport, highways and shipping, Nitin Gadkari concluded his weeklong whirlwind official visit to the US, successfully extracting assurances from infrastructure and investment companies to provide the necessary technical expertise as well as capital to further boost the robust Indian maritime, roads and highways sectors.
Gadkari held a series of productive interactions with investment bankers, fund managers and captains of trade and industry in infrastructure sector at business platforms in Washington, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and placed on record convincing statistics of the rapid growth of this sector under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which the potential American investors found highly exciting and rewarding.
Gadkari outlined government’s policy initiatives and his own vision to strengthen India’s infrastructure sector and offered lucrative investment opportunities in road and highways construction and port-led industrialisation listing the incentives to the U.S. industry for joint ventures and collaborations on Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.
He dispelled apprehensions with regard to bottle necks and red tape in India’s administrative set up and assured that Prime Minister Modi has made the country’s infrastructure development top-most priority of his government.
India, under Prime Minister Modi, the minister asserted, remains committed to improving the country’s road, highways, and port connectivity in a time-bound, result oriented, corruption-free and transparent manner through e-governance and fast-tracking decision-making process.
Gadkari also explained the new highways under construction in the difficult terrains of Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh, Himalayas, the North-Eastern Region and coastal areas and the financing mechanisms under PPP models, framing of policies for logistics parks and modernisation of roads.
Gadkari held official talks with US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and sought cooperation in sharing the intelligent traffic systems and transfer of technology in road engineering, use of IT in reducing road accidents, centrally controlled traffic light surveillance systems for road safety.
He also visited Tesla and proposed joint ventures between the electric car manufacturers and the Indian automobile companies with a view to introducing pollution free road transport in India, especially commercial and public motor vehicles.
He offered Tesla to make India their Asia manufacturing hub and offered land near major Indian ports to facilitate export of their vehicles to South and South East Asian countries.
Gadkari said Indian was committed to encouraging alternate pollution free transport in the country by providing incentives to bio-fuel, CNG, Ethanol and electric vehicles.
Gadkari said he was returning home fully satisfied with his visit which has broken new grounds in the bilateral ties between India and the US and given the much needed impetus to cooperation in the field of infrastructure, particularly road transport, highways and shipping sectors.