India is set to commit itself to becoming energy independent by 2047 – through a mix of electric mobility, by moving to a gas-based economy and making the country a hub for hydrogen production.
The vow will be part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 100 trillion rupee ($1.35 trillion) national infrastructure plan to help generate jobs and expand the use of cleaner fuels to achieve the country’s climate goals.
Modi said the country spends more than 12 trillion rupees annually on energy imports and becoming energy independent was critical to India’s future, as he also announced the launch of a National Hydrogen Mission to boost the government’s clean energy plans.
“India is moving fast towards achieving its climate goals,” he promised.
The infrastructure programme, called “Gati Shakti”, will help boost productivity of industries and boost the economy, Modi said during his speech at the Independence Day celebrations in New Delhi on Sunday.
“We will launch a masterplan, a big programme – it will create job opportunities for hundreds of thousands,” Modi said.
Boosting infrastructure in Asia’s third largest economy is at the heart of the Modi’s plan to pull back the country from a sharp economic decline worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the last fiscal year, India’s economic output fell by a record 7.3% and a second wave of Covid-19 has delayed economic recovery.
- Reuters and Sean O’Meara