How are you planning to spend the capital outlay in the budget?

In BE 2022-23, a provision of Rs 544 crore capital outlay has been kept for construction and development of national waterways, for example, jetty, ferry services etc. Also, there is a provision of Rs 30 crore for construction of buildings of the Directorate General of Shipping in Visakhapatnam and Mumbai. In all, there are 802 projects worth Rs 5.54 lakh crore under the Sagarmala programme. Out of those, 185 projects worth Rs 94,788 crore are already completed and 212 projects worth Rs 2.1 lakh crore are under implementation.

What’s the progress of the projects under public private partnership?

Our ministry has a robust pipeline of 31 projects of more than Rs 14,500 crore, which will be awarded in PPP mode till FY2025. Of these, 12 projects, valued at Rs 6,500 crore, are under bidding for the current fiscal. We are planning to award 10 more projects worth Rs 4,500 crore next fiscal.

What is the role of your ministry in the government’s integrated approach of infrastructure?

Of the seven engines of the PM GatiShakti National Master Plan, two — ports and waterways — belong to our ministry. We have a major role to play. Thanks to this plan, there is an integrated effort. A port, its connecting road and a railway hub are often planned simultaneously. One project supports the other. At present, reduction of logistic costs is a major challenge. Our export items will be globally competitive only if costs of production and transportation are under control. Our producers suffer a lot because of high transportation costs. More synergy among infrastructure ministries will reduce logistics cost.

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