Nitin Gadkari stumped his own officials when he unilaterally doubled the daily road construction target to 40 km. He agrees that the target is ambitious but says it is necessary to bring out the best out of his team. Gadkari, who took charge of the road transport, highways and shipping ministries in the Narendra Modi cabinet two years ago, is arguably the best performing minister of the government. Under his watch, the highways sector seems to be coming out of crisis and there is frantic activity in the ports, shipping and waterways sectors. As the government gets ready to celebrate its second anniversary, Gadkari laid out his agenda for the next three years in an interaction with et. Edited excerpts:
How do you rate the performance of your government?
100% achievement is a flawed concept. That doesn’t happen even if we strive for that. Things take time to turn around. What Congress did not do in 50 years, we will do in five years. We are working on keeping the poor at the centre of our policies. See, how things have changed — people now have bank accounts with insurance cover, the irrigation budget has gone up, we are reducing the cost of urea, all our shipping corporations are in profit. We have posted a profit of Rs 6,000 crore. We have awarded works worth Rs 2.5 lakh crore. For this year, my target is Rs 5 lakh crore. We are building 12 smart cities on our port lands. All this is happening because the level of efficiency and transparency has increased under the Modi government.