New Delhi: Prime Minister NarendraModi on Friday said India is moving fast and will become the world’s third-largest economy in the “third term” of his government.
Addressing industrialists at Bharat Mobility Global Expo 2024 here, the Prime Minister said the auto and automotive component industry will play a significant role in making India a global economic powerhouse.
Modi also announced that the government is working on a new scheme to develop rest facilities on National Highways for truck and taxi drivers.
“Drivers are an important part of the mobility sector. They drive for long hours but they do not have access to proper resting place…They do not get adequate time to take rest and sometimes this leads to road accidents,” Modi said.
In the first phase, 1,000 modern buildings with amenities such as food stalls, clean drinking water, toilets, parking and rest places will be constructed, he added.
Modi said that it will give a boost to both the ease of living and ease of traveling for truck and taxi drivers, thereby improving their health and also help in preventing accidents.
“India is on the move, and is moving fast. In a way, this is the beginning of the golden period for India’s mobility sector,” he said.
“Today India’s economy is expanding rapidly. India is sure to become the third largest economy in the world in the third term of our government,” the Prime Minister said.
The country is going to general polls in April-May this year.
The Prime Minister recalled a mobility-related conference from his first term (2014-19) and talked about his focus on battery and electric vehicles. Modi expressed satisfaction that he could see significant progress during his second term and said that in the third term mobility will see new heights.
Stressing that the “speed and scale” of his government has changed the very definition of mobility in India, Modi said the numbers of growing economy and the growing income are bound to infuse new confidence in the mobility sector.
Modi said that the number of cars sold in India rose from 12 crores to more than 21 crores from the 10 years before 2014 to after 2014, while the number of electric vehicles sold in India rose from two thousand per year 10 years ago to 12 lakh per year today.
The Prime Minister said that India is making new policies keeping in mind the needs of the future.
Referring to the Union Budget that was presented on Thursday, he said that in 2014 India’s capital expenditure was less than 2 lakh crore which now has risen to more than 11 lakh crore.
This has brought many opportunities for India’s mobility sector as well, he added.
The Prime Minister further said that the National Electric Mobility Mission is pushing the manufacturing of electric vehicles.
Modi exhorted the industry to explore research avenues that utilize India’s abundant raw materials for battery manufacturing and delve into areas such as green hydrogen and ethanol.
“Why not conduct research to manufacture batteries using raw materials available in India? The auto sector should also explore research in green hydrogen and ethanol,” Modi said.
He also highlighted the work being done in the infrastructure sector.
“We are challenging seas and mountains, and building engineering marvels in record time. From Atal Tunnel to AtalSetu, India’s infrastructural development is creating new records. In the last 10 years, 75 new airports have been built. Around 4 lakh rural roads have been constructed,” he said.
“Fast-Tag technology is facilitating savings in fuel and time in the industry,” he affirmed. Citing a recent study, the Prime Minister noted that Fast-Tag technology is contributing to an annual benefit of Rs 40,000 crore to the economy.
He also said that due to the efforts of the government in the last 10 years, about 25 crore people have come out of poverty and a new middle class is emerging and means of transportation such as cycles, two-wheelers or four-wheelers, become their first requirement.
“Mobility sector is witnessing an unprecedented atmosphere in the country and you must capitalize on it.” He said that about 4 lakh km of rural roads have been laid, 90,000 km of national highways have been constructed, 3500 km of high-speed corridors have been developed, and 15 new cities got Metro rails.
“The speed and scale of our government has changed the very definition of mobility in India,” he said adding India is now on the threshold of becoming a global economic powerhouse.
He added that there are immense possibilities in the mobility sector in the next 25 years and urged the industry to transform itself rapidly to fully utilize these possibilities.
He also urged industry leaders to collaborate with ITIs to make the courses more relevant according to the needs of the industry.
Talking about the scrappage policy which gives exemption in road tax on new vehicles in exchange for scrapping of old vehicles, Modi said the auto industry can also consider offering certain incentives.
Commenting on the tyre sector, the prime minister asked the sector players to reduce import dependence for rubber with the cooperation of farmers.
The Expo features the participation of over 28 vehicle manufacturers, in addition to the presence of more than 600 auto component manufacturers. Commerce and Industry PiyushGoyal said that all the players from the mobility sector are participating in the show and expressed hope that it would become an annual expo.
India may become the largest EV market by 2030, Goyal said.