India's Transport and Infrastructure Endowments

Single window for clearances

Digital platforms like India Investment Grid and PM Gati Shakti to streamline investmens

"Priority sector lending" status to capital projects in housing, social development, & renewable

Digitized land records

Dedicated organizations like NIIF and NABFID to catalyze sector financing

New PPP models


Over 70% of financing is currently derived from the exchequer, and only 20% of funds for National Infrastructure Pipeline projects are expected to come from private investors


Capital projects often get delayed due to a variety of factors. Partly because of this, cost-overruns in the sector average 23 percent of total project costs.


Transport and urban infrastructure capacity has also inhibited industrial and urban development for decades


India to address

Vision: India’s Century Aspirations for Logistics & Transport Sector by 2047

From 13-14% (2022)
Logistics cost (as % of GDP)
Top 5
Global ranking in ship building and ship repair

Major Transport projects monetized / financed via PPP, InVIT, TOT etc.

From 27% in 2021
Share of railways in freight FY30 Target: ~40% (as per NRP)

From 15 - 20%

Population coverage around expressways in top 30 Cities

From 44th Rank in 2018 to
Top 25

Rank in World Bank’s Logistics Performance

3 x 500 MTPA - 2047
3 x 500 MTPA - 2047

Mega Bulk Ports

3 x 20+ Mn TEUs
Mega Container Ports with 18m drafts; 100% DFC
From 23%

Average project cost overruns due to delays

From ~140,000 km
2 lakh (2025)
8 lakh (2047)
Length of Highways (km)

What India Inc could do now

Transform construction via modulization and digitizationy

Developers could adopt digital tools (such as 5D BIM, digital twins, collaborative contracting, IoT-aided construction management, online marketplaces, etc.) across the project lifecycle as well as industrialize construction by adopting modular designs, off-site fabrication/casting, and on-site assembly approaches. Doing so could raise productivity in the sector by more than 50 percent and savings by 30–40 percent

Key actors: Infrastructure developers

Improve sub-contracting

Major infrastructure developers could implement collaborative contracting (especially for large, complex projects) to better identify project risks, timelines, scope adjustments and mitigate downstream delays, cost-overruns.

Gradually, they could implement integrated project planning / relationship contracting, wherein project risks, profits, and execution responsibility are pooled among the contractors.

Key actors: Major infrastructure developers

Develop land parcels for urban development

Private developers could partner with urban local bodies to create shovel-ready land parcels for real-estate development (especially for affordable and value housing). While developers could build utilities and support infrastructure, ULBs could help secure requisite approvals. Such parcels can then be auctioned to real estate developers to realize returns. This approach could help abate time and cost overruns and accelerate the development of social, urban infrastructure.

Key actors: Private developers, urban local bodies and real estate companies

Set packaging standards

India Inc. could push for setting up commodity-specific standards across cargo packaging, palletization and labelling cargo. This would help reducing cargo processing time and cost for both warehouse storage and transportation.

Key actors: Leading logistics and transport players, in collaboration with the government

Electrifying last-mile logistics

Transport and logistics players could push for electrification of last-mile delivery (especially two wheelers) by leveraging emerging EV models (leasing, battery-swapping, etc.), creating awareness, and enabling favourable access to credit.

The government could support efforts by through creating an enabling policy framework for drone deliveries.

Key actors: E-commerce, hyperlocal, and logistics players, with support from the government

Drive megaports-based industrialization

India could integrate major industrial clusters, free trade zones, and free trade warehousing zones with megaports through dedicated rail freight corridors, expressways, etc. Manufacturing incentives and plug-and-play infrastructure could enable this network to attract global manufacturing.

Key actors: The government, in collaboration with industry bodies

Make trucking sustainable and more cost-effective

India could promote hydrogen-based fuel-cells for long-haul trucking by developing refueling infrastructure across highways, instituting minimum mandates for auto manufacturers to produce hydrogen-fuel trucks, and providing incentives for creating hydrogen infrastructure (financial subsidies, tax breaks, carbon credits etc.). It could also create an ecosystem for the deployment of multi-trailer trucks by locating major logistics hubs along frontage of highways and creating dedicated electric lanes along major highways.

How policymakers could help

Expand data access

The government could provide open data access the logistics ecosystem (encompassing e-way bills, GSTIN, FASTag, Aadhar, Vahan, etc.) to enable logistics players to develop big data solutions to make sense of freight-flow patterns, plan infra capacity additions, develop inter-modal supply chains, etc.

Expand PMAY

India could expand the PMAY umbrella to include stalled projects, thereby improving housing supply. Demand can be driven by rationalizing taxes (GST, stamp duty, etc.) and providing better financing access to low-income groups (through Kashi, KYC Setu, credit guarantees, etc.).

Free up prime city land

To accelerate the development of urban affordable housing projects, city administrators could free-up prime city land by relocating non-core infrastructure (jails, zoos, landfills, warehouses, etc.) from central areas of the city to peripheral areas and easing bye-laws (related to parking, setbacks, etc.).

Key actors: City administrators

Increase private sector participation in Infrastructure

Private sector participation can be boosted by creating a regulatory sandbox for testing innovative PPP models (e.g., allowing open access on select railway segments and deploying hybrid-till airport model in other sectors), setting up independent regulators in key sectors (for e.g., road, rail, metro, and urban infrastructure), adopting new financing mechanisms (InvITs, TOT, HAM, corporate bonds, IPO, etc.), and incorporating more balanced risks and rewards PPP frameworks.

Set up a Central Urban Infrastructure Development Agency

India could establish a central agency to help ULBs with project structuring and to provide payment guarantees on their behalf. The agency could also help state government raise funds, especially via partnerships with multilateral agencies.

It could be partly funded through ringfencing allocations from various central schemes, such as Smart Cities, PMAY, AMRUT, and Jal Jeevan Mission.

Initiative by
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