NEW DELHI : In the wake of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the Union minister Shri Nitin Gadkari said that Indian exporters are sitting on large orders amid sharp increase in logistics costs. He said exporters are concerned over availability of containers and port-related issues.
The Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways said at a virtual session organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry-Eastern Region said, “because of these complications, the industry is not being able to take advantage of such large exporter orders.”
The worldwide shipping costs have increased 30% year-on-year. Gadkari said the country has to reduce its dependence on crude oil, which is the need of the hour for the industry, and opt for alternative fuel like green hydrogen.
The minister said the Centre is in the process of setting up 35 multi-modal logistics parks (MMLP), which would help the Indian exports sector become more competitive in the international market. Gadkari said the MMLPs will be developed on PPP basis with a capital outlay of ₹46,000 crore.
Meanwhile, the Union minister said the government is targeting a pace of 50 km per day for national highways’ construction in the country, and expressed hope that the pace in the current fiscal year will be higher than that in 2020-21. Gadkari said the government is giving highest priority to developing the road network near the border areas of Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.
“Now, we want to go up to (construct) 50 km per day (highway),” he said. The pace of national highway (NH) construction in the country touched a record 37 km per day in 2020-21. The road transport and highways minister said, this week he has signed a file to award contracts for construction of 1,000 km highway.
Gadkari said due to COVID-induced disruptions, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL) faced some problems.