India to be number 1 auto manufacturing hub in 5 yrs, ET Auto
India to be number 1 auto manufacturing hub in 5 yrs, ET Auto

India to be number 1 auto manufacturing hub in 5 yrs, ET Auto

February 20, 2024
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<p>Nitin Gadkari</p>
Nitin Gadkari

India will become the number one automobile manufacturing hub in the world by 2029 and the country will be the third largest economy, road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari said on Friday.

The government’s focus going forward will be to build a world-class road network, move to alternative fuels and bring down logistics costs in the country, Gadkari added.

“One thing is very clear: if we need capital investment, development and industry, we should have good infrastructure, water, power, transport and communication,” he said. “Without that, we cannot develop our agriculture, service industry and tourism.”

Talking about the potential of the auto industry, Gadkari said, “We have all products and all major players present in the country. The automobile industry will give majority strength to the Indian economy and we will be Atmanirbhar Bharat and we will be the third largest economy in the world in the next five years.”

According to him, Prime Minister Narendra Modi accorded the highest priority to development of infrastructure in the country after forming the government in 2014.

“To achieve the dream of PM Modi to make India the third largest economy in the world, we need to develop world standard infrastructure in the country,” Gadkari said. By the end of 2024, the country’s national highway network will be equivalent to the road network of the USA, he added.

He said his focus is to improve the quality of Indian roads and transition to alternate fuels to bring down the logistics cost in the country to single digit.

Outlining his vision for infrastructure development, Gadkari said his ministry is building 36 expressways, which will reduce the travel time between Delhi and Dehradun to two hours, Delhi and Jaipur to two hours, Delhi to Mumbai to 12 hours, Chennai to Bangalore to two hours and Bangalore to Mysore to one hour. Also, the distance between Delhi and Chennai will be reduced by 320 kilometres, he said.

Gadkari said he is not dependent on government funding for his infrastructure vision. “I don’t want to make roads from investments from wealthy people. Instead, I will give an assured return of 8.05% per annum to small investors who invest in our bonds and every month the interest is credited in their account,” he said.

The National Highways Authority of India has AAA rating and there is no dearth of funds, he added.

“Whatever work has been done in the road sector so far was the trailer. Asli film to abhi baaki hai,” the minister said.

He said India will diversify to alternate fuels to reduce import of fossil fuel, which stands at ₹16 lakh crore per year. “So, our policy is very simple – diversification of agriculture towards energy powers, so that our kisans are no longer ‘anna daata’ but ‘urja daata’, ‘bitumen daata’ and ‘hawaii indhan daata’ or sustainable aviation fuel,” Gadkari said.

He said the government is working on a project in Panipat with Indian Oil Corporation where they are using rice straw to make 100,000 litres of ethanol and 150 tonnes of bio-bitumen every day, and 76,000 tonnes of bio-aviation fuel per year.

“By changing the fuel and by making good roads, I am confident that by the end of 2024, our logistic cost will be in single digit (around 9%), which will increase our export at least one and a half times and that is to me the most important thing,” he said.

Highlighting the need to reduce logistic cost in the country, Gadkari said the logistic cost in China is 8-10% of goods while it is 12% in European countries and the USA. However, in India, it goes up to 16%.

Asserting that a lot of development work has taken place in the country during the 10 years of the Modi government, Gadkari said the NDA alliance believes in the politics of progress and development and will again get majority in 2024 general elections due in April-May.

“Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we will again get a majority and form the government,” he said, adding that people rise above caste, creed, sex, religion and language and vote for good work.

  • Published On Feb 10, 2024 at 07:13 AM IST

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