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New Delhi, Nov 25 (PTI) The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has identified 101 projects under PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan to enhance port connectivity with consumption and production centres, Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said on Thursday.
Addressing an event organised by industry body CII virtually, the Ports, Shipping and Waterways minister further said as many as 111 waterways, spread over 24 states in the country, have been declared as national waterways.
"Lowering logistics costs is critical for India. Our government is taking several steps to strengthen the logistics ecosystem across the country.
"The Ports, Shipping and Waterways ministry has identified 101 projects under PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan to enhance port connectivity with consumption and production centres," he said.
Sonowal said, the government's infrastructure plans like Sagarmala, Bharatmala (that aims to lay a grid of highways across India), Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC), are at various stages of implementation.
Under the Sagarmala project, the ministry provides financial support to state governments for port infrastructure development and skill development programmes.
He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month launched Gati Shakti National Master Plan for multi-modal connectivity to reduce logistics costs.
Sonowal said, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port is ready to connect with other Indian ports.
On October 13, Modi launched a Rs 100 lakh crore national master plan for multi-modal connectivity to develop infrastructure to reduce logistics costs and boost the economy.
Sonowal said, the country's maritime sector plays a crucial role in its overall trade and growth.
"Our efforts in the past couple of years have started bringing results... the investment in ports have increased over the last five years," he said.
The minister said increased efficiency in supply chain and logistics will help achieve the target of USD 5 trillion economy by 2025.
The government is proactively encouraging private sector participation in development and operation of port infrastructure. Investment in ports has touched an all-time high of USD 2.35 billion by 2020, he added. PTI BKS