Road, Transport and Shipping Minister, Nitin Gadkari, promises to add two percentage points to India’s economic growth in two years. He wants to speed up the pace of road-building to over 30 km (18.6 miles) a day by next March from 14 km a day at present, and complete $75 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next three years. With the help of India’s space agency, Isro, he plans to run cars and buses on lithium batteries. He is also designing a “cash for clunkers” scheme to recycle old cars and encourage new purchases. Nine projects have been awarded this year under the public-private partnership (PPP) model, compared with three a year ago. Gadkari inherited $57 billion in projects stalled by land and environmental disputes. The logjam has plunged developers into debt – 30 per cent of India’s $100 billion in stressed bank loans are to the infrastructure sector. The government has sought to unblock those projects and bridge the funding gap by hiking its own spending on infrastructure by nearly $11 billion this year. It has also put $3 billion of seed capital into a new infrastructure fund, and hopes to attract 10 times that in private backing. Gadkari said business have shed their reluctance to bid for road projects after his government decided that public tenders could only be held once all necessary approvals had been secured.