New Delhi: Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said on Wednesday that the government is working to ensure that the Railways is fully electrified by December 2023 and the entire network is run on renewable energy by 2030. Addressing a virtual session on 'Investment Opportunities in Andhra Pradesh,' during the 'Maritime India Summit 2021,' organised by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, jointly with FICCI, Goyal said that India has had a glorious maritime history and we are on the path to build an even greater maritime future.
"In the last six years, the capacity of our major ports has almost doubled. We have developed smart cities and industrial parks and integrated ports with the coastal economic zones. Integration of Road, Rail & Waterways can truly make India 'One Nation, One Market, One Supply'," he added.
Goyal further said that we need to reduce our logistics cost so that the international and domestic freight costs will reduce from 13-14 percent cost of goods to a more acceptable international benchmark of 8 percent. "Bringing down the logistics cost is the need of the hour today. India cannot be competitive as long as our logistics cost remains so high. We are working on multi-modal logistics solutions to bring down the cost of transportation and increase supply chain efficiency. It's time that we plan our port sector in such a manner that we can have modern and efficient ports, the turnaround time of ships can be brought down significantly. A more competitive spirit will help to keep the cost in freight and at port low," he said.
Maritime India summit 2021, he said will be the beginning of our victory against high freight costs, our victory to be an international player in maritime sector, our victory in ensuring jobs. "Under the PM's leadership, the country has had a very rapid V-shaped recovery. This Maritime India Summit 2021 will be the beginning of our victory to be an international player in the sector," he added.
Highlighting the potential in Andhra Pradesh, Goyal said that the government is working closely with the government of Andhra Pradesh to further develop road, rail and port infrastructure and promote dedicated freight corridor for encouraging economic activities, bringing manufacturing activity to the state and promoting industrial parks in the state. "I would urge industry captains to let us build industry at sea. We on our part will ensure ease of doing business. We will work in partnership with states for enhancing ease of doing business at state and local level."
He further stated that the maritime sector is a very critical sector for Atmanirbhar Bharat. We are working to turn our coastal region into a role model for ease of living and ease of doing business, said the minister. He added that the government is working on three mantras for the infrastructure sector in the country – Upgrade, Create, Dedicate. "If we re-invent with technology driven solutions like robotics, automation, artificial intelligence, big data analytics, our sector is SAFE- Sustainable, Agile, Futuristic, Efficient. I appeal to all stakeholders to utilise this opportunity to transform from being 'service provider' to 'knowledge provider'," Goyal asserted.
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