National Master Plan

Not only to fight the fallout of the COVID -19 related constraints faced by the economy , not only to step up monitoring of various projects and infrastructural development , not only to ensure that the country’s economy picks up and moves in the right direction but resorting to new approaches and mechanism to see that a real turnaround took place in the basic structure of the country’s development process, a Rs.100 lakh crore worth of a National Master Plan for multi model connectivity and other forms of development having been announced by the Prime Minister, is yet another approach laced with innovative ideas and planning. The country with such a dimension and with a population of 1.3 billion cannot afford to solve emerging economic problems all with yesterday’s solutions or with a classical economic approach. New ideas, reforms, less of protectionism, more opening up, scientific planning and targets oriented implementation, execution and an even spread of the derivable(s) must be the national vision. Disparities between urban and rural areas in terms of partaking of boosted economic benefits must be the basis of infrastructural development but with reduced logistic costs. Entirely new strategies and approaches must be owned and employed ; for a simple example of a “traditional” signage of “work in progress” must no longer become a licence to carry on ”at will” and drag things – sans speed and direction as also accountability.
If logistic costs, which in the context refer to cost of transport activities of road, railways , water and air modes are reduced not voluntarily but by employing policies and programmes, chances of getting goods for domestic use at reduced prices would get brightened. Since the thrust is right from roads to railways and from aviation to agriculture, the cost inputs of agriculture too would get reduced improving chances of increased money incomes of the farmers. Not only domestically a change will take place but exports too would get a boost. The entire approach towards shaping the National Master Plan is based on and with the achievable objects of ”Gati” or speed and “Shakti” or power which is tantamount to having recourse to more speed and more power applied to projects in hand and new ones planned by applying a single window approach. That precisely means that all concerned departments must work as one entity and on one platform and with one common objective and vision. Seems incredible but the question is of the quality of implementation .
Heterogeneity in approach and sticking to obsolete procedures and methods rolling out only delays and red tape was an antidote to growth and precisely to overcome that , it has been proposed that whatever infrastructure related schemes of various ministries and State/UT Governments are formulated, they must have commonality of design and execution with intent to pursue the same vision. One project related to basic structural development shall help and coordinate with the other project which will only then lend credence to strategies adopted in formulating more of developmental and welfare schemes. However, the aim of all these endeavours must result in cutting down on avoidable costs . If all these factors related to bringing in a tempo of speed and power are analysed with an ambition of transformation of the economy , it can be safely deduced that this country can hardly afford to compromise either with speed , or project execution not picking up while maintaining quality standards and not adhering to cost consciousness.
Unless we, as a fast developing country, build up such an economic platform based on pragmatic policies and planning aimed at promising growth, speed, good returns, sound and pro- growth labour policy and the like, we cannot aspire for bringing in or attracting foreign direct investment without which, it can be believed, neither fast development can take place, nor employment opportunities increased nor cumulative demand getting a boost. Wastages, high costs especially the logistics ones, less of speed in building and execution of projects, flawed implementation of schemes, absence of coordination between developmental endowments and agencies, high cost of transportation, absence of thrust on training and research, no target approach and administrative lethargy of any type must sooner than later be things of the past. India has, undoubtedly less of time and more of things to do.