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Home / Business News / PM Modi seeks investment for urban infra projects

PM Modi seeks investment for urban infra projects

Addressing the third Bloomberg New Economy Forum, the PM said, “Technology is an important enabler in the journey of a smart, prosperous and resilient city. Technology has managed a city efficiently and built connected communities. We are looking at a future where a major chunk of education, healthcare, shopping, food experiences may happen online. Our cities need to be ready for the convergence of the physical and digital world.”

business Updated: Nov 18, 2020, 06:51 IST
Rajeev Jayaswal
Rajeev Jayaswal
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
In his virtual address, Modi said India is an ideal investment destination.
In his virtual address, Modi said India is an ideal investment destination. (ANI Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said Indian cities need to be ready for the convergence of the physical and digital world where a major chunk of education, healthcare, shopping, food experiences will happen online, while inviting investors to participate in the transformation of Indian cities with a project pipeline of $30 billion, including projects worth $20 billion under implementation.

Addressing the third Bloomberg New Economy Forum, the PM said, “Technology is an important enabler in the journey of a smart, prosperous and resilient city. Technology has managed a city efficiently and built connected communities. We are looking at a future where a major chunk of education, healthcare, shopping, food experiences may happen online. Our cities need to be ready for the convergence of the physical and digital world.”

In his virtual address, he said India is an ideal investment destination. “If you are looking to invest in urbanisation, India has exciting opportunities for you. If you are looking to invest in mobility, India has exciting opportunities for you. If you are looking to invest in innovation, India has exciting opportunities for you. If you are looking to invest in sustainable solutions, India has exciting opportunities for you.”

“These opportunities come along with a vibrant democracy, a business-friendly climate, a huge market and a government which shall have not [left any] stone unturned to make India a preferred global investment destination,” he said.

PM said that India is already implementing its smart city scheme. “We have selected 100 smart cities through two stage processes. It was a nationwide competition upholding the philosophy of cooperative and competitive federalism,” he said.

“These cities have prepared projects worth almost ₹2 lakh crore or US$30 billion. And projects worth almost ₹1,40,000 crore or $20 billion have been completed or nearing completion to unleash the full potential of technology,” he said.

As a result of such projects integrated command and control centres have been set up in several cities, he said. “These centres are currently also serving as war-rooms to manage the Covid situation in various cities,” he added.

Underscoring India’s recent efforts in creating urban infrastructure, particularly public transportation, he said, “Sustainable mobility is key to creating resilient cities. The work on metro rail is going on in 27 cities. We are on track to deliver close to 1,000 kms of metro rail systems in the country by 2022.”

He said that most of the infrastructure development is happening under the government’s ‘Make in India’ programme. “Our Make in India push had led to development of tremendous indigenous capacity of production of transportation systems. It is going to help us push our sustainable transport goals in a big way,” PM Modi said.

While 31% of India’s 1.3 billion people currently live in cities, migration from rural areas in search of jobs has strained already creaky public amenities, posing challenges for policy makers. Investments in urban infrastructure can help shore up Asia’s third-largest economy which has slipped into an unprecedented recession after its Covid lockdown, Bloomberg citing a report of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said.

The Modi government has already announced several schemes to build houses for the urban poor and provide amenities such as public transport and clean drinking water. PM Modi said India is committed to provide affordable rental housing, which is part of the government’s recently launched stimulus package.

The government has taken several measures to boost an economy battered by the pandemic and a 68-day hard lockdown since March 25. So far, it has unveiled three stimulus packages worth ₹29.87 lakh crore, around 15% of the gross domestic product (GDP), which also includes the monetary measures taken by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Minus the RBI’s monetary measures, the size of the stimulus is about 9% of the GDP. The first stimulus-cum-relief measures of ₹20.97 lakh crore came through a series of announcements between March 26 and May 17. Post-lockdown, on October 12, the government announced a second package of ₹73,000 crore, focusing on stimulating demand. In continuation with the two booster doses, the Union finance minister on November 12 announced another stimulus package of ₹2.65 lakh crore focusing on creating more jobs.

The Bloomberg New Economy Forum, established in 2018, seeks to build a community of leaders to engage in real conversations leading to actionable solutions about the critical challenges facing a world economy in the throes of a historic transition. The inaugural forum was held in Singapore, and the second annual forum was hosted in Beijing

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