Source: The Economic Times, Jan 29, 2017
Addressing a two-day CII Partnership Summit in Visakhapatnam on Saturday, union roads transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari said India was looking to promote port-based economy through CEZs, primarily targeting to achieve double digit growth.
The union minister said the two proposed CEZs were among the 14 that the government planned to set up across the country, involving cumulative investments of over Rs 8 lakh crore to generate nearly one crore jobs.
The two CEZs planned for Andhra Pradesh include the one from Srikakulam to Vijayawada and the other from Vijayawada to Nellore, both falling under the Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor.
Gadkari said the port led development under ‘Sagarmala’ program is expected to attract investments of Rs 15 lakh crore, of which some Rs 4 lakh crore were expected in port mechanisation, modernisation and port-rail and port-road connectivity. “We have already started works for more than Rs 1 lakh crore.”
The minister said the government expects state-owned ports and port related firms to post more than Rs 7,000 crore of profits, which will be ploughed back on port modernisation, mechanisation and others. Visakhapatnam Port, which is the second largest state-owned port, would take up around Rs 6,000 crore of modernisation works.
Compared to China, the logistics cost in India was high at around 18% and the government was striving to bring down the cost of logistics by conferring high priority to waterways, he said.
“Our ambition for growth is double digit under the leadership our prime minister. And without this coastal economic zones and port led development, we cannot achieve our goal,” said Nitin Gadkari.