Gautam Adani lists 3 key areas in building robust national infrastructure

Mumbai: Gautam Adani, the Chairman of the Adani Group, on Wednesday, listed three key areas which will further help the national infrastructure grow in years to come, driving the country to realise its goal of becoming a $30 trillion economy by 2050.

According to Gautam Adani, touted as ‘The Infra Man of India,’ the three key areas are — the role of government policies and governance in building infrastructure; the future of infrastructure and its interconnection with sustainability; and Adani Group’s areas of focus and the role it is playing in developing national infrastructure.

The 1991 economic liberalisation and reforms, announced by the late Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao and the finance minister at that time, Dr Manmohan Singh, marked a watershed moment in India’s economic history and dismantled the ‘Licence Raj’ which had seen the government involved in almost every approval that businesses needed.

The statistics tell the story. As per World Bank data: In the three decades prior to liberalization, the Indian GDP grew by 7 times. And in the three decades post-liberalisation, our GDP grew by 14 times.

“There could be no better validation than these numbers on the power of liberalisation,” Gautam Adani said while delivering the keynote at the Crisil Ratings’ ‘Annual Infrastructure Summit’.

However, the liberalisation in 1991 marked a major turning point. The breaking down of the ‘Licence Raj’ meant that the government did away with industrial licensing for most sectors.

It eliminated much of the requirement for businesses to obtain government permission to invest, or set prices, or build capacity.

“If the period between 1991 and 2014 was about putting down the foundations and building the runway, the period from 2014 to 2024 has been about the aircraft taking off,” Gautam Adani noted.

And a strong example of this ‘take off’ is the National Infrastructure Pipeline, the NIP programme.

The core essence of the NIP is its integrated approach involving participation from both the public and private sectors with the funding model divided between the two.

“I consider the NIP programme that has earmarked a projected investment of Rs 111 lakh crore over the period FY20-25 as a benchmark of how a government can put in place a national view of over 9,000 infrastructure projects across sectors like energy, logistics, water, airports and social infrastructure,” the Adani Group Chairman added.

The single most important catalyst enabling this take-off has been the quality of ‘governance’ that we have witnessed over the past decade, and the metrics speak for themselves.

“India’s fiscal investment has doubled, from 1.6 per cent of GDP to 3.3 per cent of GDP. Corporate Income Tax rates have fallen from 30 per cent to 22 per cent, creating headroom for corporates to invest. And the current account deficit fell from 3.5 per cent of GDP to 0.8 per cent of GDP,” informed Gautam Adani.

These outcomes are fundamentally rooted in this government’s effectiveness in institutionalising policy for transforming our nation’s landscape from one of challenges to one of possibilities.

The results are visible to all.

“First, almost every foreign visitor that I meet these days talks about the extraordinary infrastructure growth they see in India be it the quality of the multi-lane highways, the massive construction projects all over the country, access to ports across the nation’s coastline, the rapid penetration of green energy, a world-class and modern transmission grid, dedicated freight corridors, the quality and access to airports across the country, several new Metro rail networks, and the massive trans-sea links,” according to Gautam Adani.

Second, the Indian government’s Aadhaar and UPI infrastructure has transformed the financial ecosystem in the country.

This system has democratised access to financial services to such an extreme level that it has allowed even the previously unbanked population to participate in the digital economy.

“This has led to the stronger tax collections that we have already started to witness. It has also spurred the growth of fintech companies, streamlined subsidy distribution, and enhanced transparency, contributing significantly to the country’s digital transformation and economic growth,” Gautam Adani emphasised.

And third, is the very visible aspect about the ‘young-ness’ of India that we formally call the ‘demographic dividend’.

India’s median age stands at less than 29 years, while China’s median age today is already at 39.

“What is more remarkable is that even in 2050, India’s median age will be just 39 years. This means that India will be at its peak consumption for at least the next three to four decades. No other nation will have this scale advantage of domestic demand,” said Gautam Adani.

In terms of numbers, estimates show that by the end of FY32, the year India has targeted to become a 10 trillion-dollar economy, the cumulative spend on infrastructure will exceed 2.5 trillion dollars.

“These are all indicative of the potential of India, and I can confidently state that the platform to create totally new market spaces in India is now in place,” said Gautam Adani.

The Adani Group Chairman also spoke about two emerging sectors: infrastructure to enable energy transition and digital infrastructure.

“Let me first expand on the energy transition space. This will fundamentally change the global energy landscape forever. The global transition market was valued at approximately 3 trillion dollars in 2023 and is expected to grow to nearly 6 trillion dollars by 2030, and thereafter double every 10 years till 2050,” informed Gautam Adani.

India aims to install 500 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2030.

“This ambitious target will require annual investments of over 150 billion dollars. The transition to green energy in India is expected to generate millions of new jobs in sectors such as solar and wind, energy storage, hydrogen and its derivatives, EV charging stations, as well as grid infrastructure development,” Gautam Adani stated.

On the ‘digital infrastructure’ space, Gautam Adani said we have now arrived at a world where the AI revolution sits at the core of every digital initiative.

“And at the heart of all this action is the Data Centre, the critical infrastructure needed to power all forms of computational needs, especially AI workloads for machine learning algorithms, natural language processing, computer vision and deep learning”.

“The fact is that the infrastructure required for energy transition and the infrastructure required for digital transformation are now inseparable as the technology sector becomes the largest consumer of the precious green electrons,” Gautam Adani added.

Over the past 30 years, the Adani Group has leveraged these drivers to become the world’s second-largest solar power company; India’s largest airport operator with 25 per cent of passenger traffic and 40 per cent of air cargo; India’s largest Ports & Logistics company with 30 per cent of national market share; India’s largest integrated energy player spanning across generation, transmission & distribution, LNG and LPG terminals, and city gas and piped gas distribution; India’s second largest cement manufacturer; and several other new sectors including metals, petrochemicals, aerospace and defence, super apps, and industrial clouds.

“Nothing holds more potential than the two I have outlined — the energy transition space and the digital infrastructure space. This is why the Adani Group is making massive investments in both these areas,” said Gautam Adani.

“The next decade will see us invest more than $100 billion in the energy transition space and further expand our integrated renewable energy value chain that today already spans the manufacturing of every major component required for green energy generation,” the Adani Group Chairman added.


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