Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 17 November invited investors to invest in India’s urban centres, as the country was aiming to rebuild the economy after the coronavirus pandemic paused economic activity.
Speaking at the third Annual Bloomberg New Economy Forum via video conferencing, Modi highlighted how COVID-19 pandemic had posed enormous challenges before the world as it showed that cities, which were the major growth engines, were also vulnerable zones. He said that the post-COVID-19 world would need a restart, which would not be possible without a reset of mindset. “The pandemic has given us an opportunity to develop new protocols in every field, Modi said.
In a bid to attract investors, the prime minister said, “This opportunity should be grabbed by the world if we want to develop resilient systems for the future. We should think about post COVID requirements of the world. A good starting point would be the rejuvenation of our urban centers”, he added.
Highlighting the benefits of urban centres, the prime minister said that the pandemic has re-emphasised the biggest resource, as societies and as businesses, is people and that the post-Covid world has to be built by nurturing this key and fundamental resource.”
Modi informed the forum and potential investors about the recent initiatives by the Central government such as Digital India, Startup India, affordable housing, Real Estate (Regulation) Act and Metro Rail in 27 cities. “We are on track to deliver close to 1,000 km of Metro Rail system in the country by 2022,” he said. “We have selected 100 Smart Cities through a two-stage process,” Modi further added.
Modi further informed investors that these cities had prepared projects worth almost Rs 2 lakh crore or $ 30 billion and projects worth almost Rs 1,40,000 crore ($ 20 billion) have been completed or nearing completion.
Modi said, “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 and a huge market. And a government which shall leave no stone unturned to make India a preferred global investment destination.”