India is planning a mega project to help the country grab factories from China and compete with the world’s second-largest economy.

Bloomberg reported that the new project is called PM Gati Shakti, or the strength of speed in Hindi. It is designed at 100 trillion rupee, or $1.2 trillion.

Under the project, the Indian government will create a digital platform that unifies 16 ministries for seamless approvals. It will also offer businesses and investors a one-stop solution for the design of projects and easier estimation of costs.   

India has been known for delayed infrastructure projects. Half of all the projects in the country are postponed, and about 25% of them run over their estimated budget.

So the administration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi expects that technology is the solution to the notorious bottlenecks. 

Amrit Lal Meena, special secretary of logistics in India’s commerce and industry ministry, said that the mission is to implement projects without time and cost overruns.

Meena added the objective is that India wants to attract global companies to choose it as their manufacturing center.

India has the advantages of cheap labor and a talent pool of primarily English-speaking workers. Fast-tracking projects could help India create a more favorable business climate for the third-largest Asian economy.

Anshuman Sinha is a partner at Kearney India who leads transport and infrastructure practices.

He said: “The only way to compete with China, apart from the fact there are political requirements of countries to move away, is to be as competitive on the cost as you can be.”

Sinha said that the mega project Gati Shakti is about making it easier to have a flow of goods and manufactured components across India.

The project would identify new production clusters and link those sites seamlessly to the railway network, ports, and airports in India.

Meena, special logistics secretary, said that many infrastructure projects were delayed due to issues related to land acquisition and forest and environment clearances.

He pointed out that reducing red tape through technology is crucial to unclog India’s stalled projects.

In a speech last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that quality infrastructure is the key to kick-starting several economic activities in India.

He said his administration is committed to investing more and more to develop modern infrastructure and to ensure projects do not face roadblocks and get delayed.

Since taking office in 2014, Modi has prioritized building infrastructure, which helped lure big foreign investors.

In 2018, Samsung Electronics opened India’s world’s largest mobile phone factory.

Apple is eyeing to begin manufacturing the iPhone 14 in India about two months after the product’s initial release in China.

Ola Electric Mobility Pvt also pledged to build the country’s world’s most giant electric scooter factory. 

Meena said: “For any manufacturer, choosing India as a manufacturing destination would be a sought after decision.”

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