As the Indian Prime Minister laid the foundation of a highway connecting the country’s biggest container port to the hinterland, he emphasised repeatedly that if India wants to focus on exports it needs to focus on port-led development.
“Port development just does not give employment to locals but is also the gateway to India’s growth. Through Special Economic Zones we can give importance to exports and create brand name for ourselves in the world,” Modi said.
Government ports like JNPT are severely constrained and are functioning at almost 100% capacity, against the global norm of 60-70%. Their growth has been lethargic, not only because of the economic slowdown but also lack of infrastructure to move goods from hinterland to the port and deliver imports to important markets.
They lack of updated cold storage and mechanized warehousing facility, makes them a second choice to expensive private ports.
Modi said states and centre should work together to promote exports by encouraging innovation and technology. He also said the government is working towards simplifying rules to aid economic growth and provide a conducive environment to industrialists.