21-Nov-2017
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India offers golden opportunities for global investors: Gadkari

NEW DELHI: India offers "golden opportunities" for global investors in sectors such as infrastructure, transport, agriculture and food processing, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Saturday.
 
Not only the country is going to offer a world class infrastructure in highways in two years, waterways and agriculture are also undergoing massive reforms that include 325 irrigation projects and massive river-interlinking programme, the Road,
 
Transport, Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation minister said.
Addressing the World Food India 2017 conference on the 'Opportunities in Infrastructure Technology & Equipment', Gadkari said, "There are golden opportunities for investors in food processing, agriculture, water transport, highways, shipping and other sectors."
 
"We are bound to create a world-class infrastructure in coming two years. Of the 32 logistic parks, 24 have already been identified on National Corridors to be built at a cost of Rs 2 lakh crore.
 
These parks will cater to key production and consumption centres accounting for 45 per cent of India's road freight," the minister said.
 
He said the work has already been started at Chennai, Bangalore, Vijaywada, Hyderabad, Surat and Guwahati for logistic parks that are designed to house cold storages and warehouses.
 
Besides, government's another major initiative Sagarmala for port-led economic development of the country will see reduction of about Rs 40,000 crore logistic cost in the country, he said.
 
Sagarmala will see development of 14 coastal economic zones besides development of two mega food processing parks, he said.
 
The minister stressed that development of logistic parks is essential as India witnesses wastage of fruits and vegetables worth Rs 13,300 crore which account for about 35 per cent of the produce due to lack of infrastructure.
 
Unfortunately, he said only 10 per cent of fruit and vegetables are processed in India whose participation is barely 1 per cent in global processed food.
 
The government aims at enhancing the processing of fruits and vegetables to 20 per cent by 2019, he said.
 
He said construction of 44 economic corridors that include Mumbai-Kolkata and Mumbai-Kanyakumari will result in quick delivery of produce to markets besides reduction in logistic costs and enhancement in farmers' income.
 
Talking about highways, he said that Eastern Peripheral Expressway to decongest Delhi will be made operational by next month while electronic tolling on highways pan-India will result in seamless flow of traffic throughout the country and would contribute in reduction of logistic cost which is at 18 per cent in India as comparison to a mere 8 to 10 per cent in China.
 
On irrigation front, he said, "As many as 325 new projects are being taken up by the government to help state governments in canal and other systems."
 
Besides, he said, there is huge emphasis on inter-river- connectivity projects and 30 such projects will be taken up a cost of Rs 8 lakh crore.
 
"Out of these 30 projects, three important projects totalling an investment of about Rs 1 lakh crore will be taken up in three months' time," the minister said.