New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday pitched India as an investment destination for businesses looking to invest in urbanisation, mobility, and sustainable solutions.
Addressing the third annual Bloomberg New Economy Forum, Modi talked about the rapid strides made by India in the urbanisation process, as well as the many policies of the government aimed at affordable housing, mobility and information technology infrastructure.
He said India offers exciting opportunities in the urban space with the added advantage of being a “vibrant democracy” offering “business-friendly environment and a huge market”.
The PM said the “government shall not leave any stone unturned” to make India a preferred investment destination.
Modi was all praise for Indian cities and their handling of the preventive measures implemented to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Cities are growth zones but the pandemic showed they are also the vulnerable zones, Modi said.
“Indian cities have presented an extraordinary example during these tough times. There was worldwide resistance to lockdown measures. However, Indian cities meticulously followed the preventive measures. The biggest building block of our cities was not concrete but community,” Modi said.
He pointed out that the biggest question before the entire world is how to restart after the pandemic. “But for a restart, there is a need for a reset,” he said, stressing on the need for mindset, process and practices to be reset.
A good starting point would be the rejuvenation of our urban centres, Modi said.
‘IT is an important enabler’
Modi said the pandemic has given a chance to countries to accelerate the process of making cities more accessible to people. Housing, shorter and more efficient travelling, and IT infrastructure can make cities accessible to its people.
Modi pointed out how the Indian government made changes to norms governing business process outsourcing (BPO) firms to enable work from home and work from anywhere.
“IT is an important enabler in the journey of a smart prosperous city… Our cities need to be ready for the convergence between the physical and digital world,” he said.
The Indian government has been encouraging foreign investors to invest in the country, with the PM virtually addressing the world’s top 20 pension and sovereign wealth funds, prodding them to invest in Indian infrastructure projects.
The government has also recently announced a Rs 1.46 lakh crore production-linked incentive scheme for 10 sectors such as auto and textiles, to boost manufacturing.
Speaking at the Bloomberg forum, Modi also talked about the government’s smart city initiative and said the selected 100 smart cities have created projects worth $30 billion, of which $20 billion worth of projects have been completed or are nearing completion.