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01-09-2010, 04:59 AM #1
Invest in roads, Kamal Nath urges overseas Indians
Stating that wealth does not create roads but roads create wealth, Minister for Road Transport and Highways Kamal Nath Friday urged overseas Indians to invest in the country's infrastructure sector.
'India has the second largest network of roads in the world. We have 3.4 million km of roads, next only to the US and bigger than China,' Kamal Nath said at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) 2010, the annual conclave of the Indian diaspora.
Speaking at a plenary session on 'Diaspora - Role and Expectations', the minister said: 'This 3.4 million km of roads carry 70 percent of our freight and 85 percent of our passengers. What better investment for all-inclusive growth than investment in roads.'
He said after the world recognised India's IT prowess, the next decade in India will be the decade of infrastructure.
Appealing to overseas Indians to participate actively in this creation of infrastructure, Kamal Nath said: 'I would request the Finance Minister (Pranab Mukherjee) to look at issuance of infrastructure bonds specifically for people of Indian origin and NRIs.'
Doling out figures, he said India had embarked on building 7,000 km of roads a year, which translates into 20 km of roads a day.
'To achieve this, we need work on 20,000 km in progress. So, 20,000 km of work in progress means $50 billion worth of investment,' he said.
Referring to the auto expo currently under way in the capital, he said 100 new cars were on show and 10 new ones were being launched.
'If we are making world class cars, we will have world class roads,' Kamal Nath signed off.