Nitin Gadkari Exhorts Industry To Join Hands With Government To Rescue COVID-Hit Economy

Promising all support to industry, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday asked players to join hands with the government to rescue COVID-19-hit economy by taking up projects on public private partnership (PPP) mode.

At the same time, he suggested all stakeholders, including banks, financial institutions, infrastructure, MSMEs, agriculture and industries, to jointly create demand to address the need of liquidity in the economy.

“Presently our economy is facing lots of challenges. Government is positive and supportive and at the same time as a facilitator, we are keenly taking lots of decisions regarding how we can be helpful in promoting industry, trade and business… This is the time we need cooperation from all stakeholders,” Road Transport, Highways and MSME Minister Gadkari said while addressing Renewable Energy Manufacturing Conference, organised by industry body CII in association with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) through video conferencing.

“The banks, financial institutions, MSMEs, industries, agriculture, infrastructure, everywhere we need to plan and with an appropriate vision we need to move fast,” he said, adding there was liquidity crunch in the economy and the need of the hour was to create demand through PPP projects.

He also asked industry bodies like CII to get in touch with the Ministry of Environment and Forests for early clearances to projects.

The minister stressed that there is a need to find out a system for self-assessment of pollution levels by the industry and in case they are found guilty the fine amount could be manifold, including jail term in case of repeat offenders.

Gadkari said the Prime Minister has accorded priority to infrastructure development, and 22 green highways were on the anvil, including Rs 1 lakh crore Delhi-Mumbai Expressway on a greenfield alignment. The expressway will reduce the travel time to 28 hours from the present 48 to 50 hours.

He also underlined the need for setting up industrial clusters along the highways to decongest metropolises and develop far-flung areas.

“We need to change our transport on LNG, which is the fuel for future. We will set up LNG and CNG stations on highways. As compared to diesel there is 60 percent saving on these fuel,” the minister said.

He also emphasised the need to convert old diesel buses into LNG or CNG-fuelled buses.

Describing MSME as an important sector for development of the country, he said there is need to make MSMEs strong and boost exports while reducing imports.

Presently MSMEs contribute 30 percent to the GDP growth and accounted for 48 to 50 percent exports and have created more than 11 crore jobs, Gadkari noted.

He suggested industry to tap foreign capital investment and said that a credit rating system can be introduced for MSMEs.

The minister also asked industry bodies to come forward for ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ and urged them to do work in 115 aspirational districts to uplift rural economy and make India super power.