Nitin Gadkari invites EU to build electric highway, plans LNG for trucks, buses
Terming India as the best destination for foreign investment with high returns, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday urged European investors to invest in India.
He also said that the government is promoting clean fuel and working towards running long-distance buses and trucks on LNG.
Apart from LNG, the government's focus is to take ethanol economy from the present ₹20,000 crore to ₹1 lakh crore, Road Transport, Highways and MSME Minister Gadkari said while addressing the members from European Economic Group on 'Sustainable Transport and MSMEs' through video conference.
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"Government is looking at LNG as fuel for trucks and buses in transport on long routes of more than 700 to 800 km. In addition, it is promoting ethanol to reduce ₹7 lakh crore annual import of crude. The volume of the ethanol industry is ₹20,000 crore which we want to take to ₹one lakh crore," the minister said.
He said plans are afoot also to develop industrial clusters, including leather, plastic, chemical, furniture and others, along with the ₹one lakh crore Delhi-Mumbai Expressway on the pattern of clusters in China, and it is opportune time for investors particularly from Europe to invest in India to get high and safe returns under the present circumstances when the world is battling Covid-19.
Developing such clusters would reduce logistics costs and bring good returns, he said.
India is the best destination for foreign investment with high returns, Gadkari said, adding that the government is trying to tap investment from different sources, including from the pension fund, insurance fund and stock market, besides the World Bank and ADB.
He also said apart from being one of the fastest growing economies, India is making things digital for transparency and urged investors to invest in infrastructure, MSMEs, banks, NBFCs and other areas.
"It is a golden opportunity for you. Your investment will be safe and you will get very good returns," the minister said, adding that Covid-19-hit Indian economy needs liquidity.
"Invest in India including through JV. It will be secured here as India has strength. India needs liquidity. It has big market, skilled manpower and is focussing on increasing exports and reducing imports," the minster noted.
Urging players to invest in the highways sector, the minister said that 22 green expressways were on the anvil and work has already started on seven of them.
He said that talks were also on with a Swedish firm for electric highway stretch on Delhi-Mumbai Expressway.