Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a program at India’s largest and first-of-its-kind mobility exhibition – Bharat Mobility Global Expo 2024 at Bharat Mandapam, New Delhi last week. He also took a walkthrough of the Expo.
Bharat Mobility Global Expo 2024 showcased India’s capabilities across mobility and automotive value chains and featured exhibitions, conferences, buyer-seller meets, state sessions and road safety pavilion.
Addressing the gathering, Prime Minister Modi underlined the pivotal role of the mobility sector. He repeated his call that he gave from the rampart of the Red Fort that ‘Yeh Hi Samay Hai, Sahi Samay Hai’- this is the right time. “India is on the move and is moving fast”, the Prime Minister said, highlighting that the present era is the beginning of the golden period for the mobility sector.
He underlined that the economy of India is expanding at a fast pace and India is set to become the third-largest economy in the world during the present government’s third term.
Throwing light on the efforts of the Government in the past 10 years, the Prime Minister informed that approximately 25 crore people have risen out of poverty. He said that when a citizen breaks out of poverty, the means of transportation be it a cycle, two-wheeler or a four-wheeler, becomes their first requirement.
Touching upon the emergence of a neo-middle class, PM Modi underscored the need to fulfill the aspirations found in such economic strata which is equal to none. The Prime Minister said that the expanding spheres and growing income of the middle class of the country will give strength to the mobility sector of India.
“The numbers of growing economy and the growing income are bound to infuse new confidence in the mobility sector”, Modi said, pointing out that the number of cars sold in India rose from 12 crores to more than 21 crores from the 10 years before 2014 to after 2014, while the number of electric cars sold in India rose from 2,000 per year 10 years ago to 1.2 million per year today. He added that in the past 10 years, the number of passenger vehicles saw an increase of 60 percent while two-wheelers increased by 70 percent.
According to the latest statistics, the Prime Minister informed that car sales in January have broken all previous records. “Mobility sector is witnessing an unprecedented atmosphere in the country and you must capitalise on it”, PM Modi urged the industry leaders.
The Prime Minister said that today’s India’s making new policies keeping in mind the needs of the future. Referring to the Union Budget that was presented yesterday, PM Modi informed that in 2014 India’s capital expenditure was less than 2 lakh crore and has risen to more than 11 lakh crore today.
This has brought many opportunities for India’s mobility sector, he said. This unprecedented expenditure is transforming rail, road, airport, waterway transport and all other sorts of transport.
He also talked about completion of engineering marvels like Atal Tunnel to Atal Setu in a record timeframe. Around 75 new airports has come up in India in the past 10 years, about 400,000 kilometres of rural roads have been laid, 90,000 km national highways have been constructed, 3,500 km of high-speed corridors have been developed, 15 new cities got Metros and 25,000 rail routes have been constructed.
The conversion of 40,000 rail coaches into modern Vande Bharat type bogies was announced in the Budget. These coaches when fitted in the ordinary trains will transform the Indian Railways.
The Prime Minister said that “the speed and scale of our Government has changed the very definition of mobility in India”. He talked about systematic and timely completion of jobs and highlighted the steps for removing logistics bottlenecks. Dedicated freight corridors are bringing the costs down. Three railway economic corridors announced in the Union Budget will also increase the ease of transportation in the country.
The Prime Minister also highlighted the transformative impact of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in accelerating trade and abolishing check posts at State borders.
Prime Minister Modi underscored the role of Fast-Tag technology in saving both fuel and time in the industry. “Fast-Tag technology is facilitating savings in fuel and time in the industry,” he affirmed. Citing a recent study, the Prime Minister noted that Fast-Tag technology is contributing to an annual benefit of Rs.40,000 crores to the economy.
“India is now on the threshold of becoming a global economic powerhouse, with the auto and automotive component industry playing a significant role,” PM Modi said. Highlighting India’s stature in the global automotive market, Prime Minister Modi said: “Today, India is the world’s third-largest market for passenger vehicles and among the top three countries globally manufacturing commercial vehicles.”
Moreover, Prime Minister Modi reiterated the government’s commitment to supporting various sectors through initiatives such as the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme. “For the industry, the Government has introduced a PLI scheme of more than Rs. 25,000 crores,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that the National Electric Mobility Mission is pushing manufacturing of Electric Vehicles. The Government has invested 10,000 crore rupees for creating demand for electric vehicles. FAME scheme has led to electric buses in the capital as well as in many other cities, he said.
Prime Minister Modi said that a fund allocation of Rs 100,000 crore has been made in this year’s budget to encourage research and innovation and also mentioned the decision to further expand the tax exemptions given to startups. “These decisions will create new opportunities in the mobility sector”, PM Modi said. Touching upon the most significant challenges of cost and battery in the EV industry, the Prime Minister recommended using these funds in its research.
Prime Minister Modi encouraged the industry to explore research avenues that utilise India’s abundant raw materials for battery manufacturing and delve into areas such as green hydrogen and ethanol. He said, “Why not conduct research to manufacture batteries using raw materials available in India? The auto sector should also explore research in green hydrogen and ethanol.”