India is expected to spend 100 trillion rupees (972 billion pounds) on a national infrastructure plan to stimulate economic growth and help the country meet its climate goals.
Speech as part of the Independence Day celebrations in Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the program would “create employment opportunities for hundreds of thousands of young people”.
“It will help local manufacturers become globally competitive and also develop opportunities for new future economic zones in the country,” he said.
Although he did not go into detail, he said that the program called “Gati Shakti” will expand the use of cleaner fuels.
“India is rapidly moving towards its climate goals,” he said.
Mr. Modi promised to invest more in electromobility, solar energy and “green hydrogen” – which does not emit carbon dioxide – so that the country will become energy independent by 2047.
“Before the 100th anniversary of independence, we will India independent of energy, “he said.
He wants to cut energy imports, which cost the country more than 12 trillion rupees (117 billion pounds) each year.
India imports about 85% of its oil needs.
The country’s economy – the third largest in Asia – was hit by the coronavirus pandemic and was down 7.3% in the fiscal year ended March.
A second wave of COVID-19 has posed problems for economic recovery as experts fear the country will not recover as quickly as the US and other nations.
The announcement follows similar plans in the United States, where President Joe Biden passed a $ 721 billion (£ 721 billion) infrastructure bill last week.
In a 90-minute speech from the historic Red Fort, Mr Modi outlined the achievements of his government on the occasion of the 74th
“We are proud that we did not depend on any other country for COVID-19 vaccines,” he said.
“Imagine what would have happened if India didn’t have its own vaccine.”
More than 500 million doses of the vaccines have been given in India and approximately 11% of eligible adults have been fully vaccinated to date.