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Focus must be on creating holistic urban ecosystem for future development: Puri

ByVrinda Tulsia
Nov 30, 2023 02:41 PM IST

National Workshop on ‘Leveraging private finance for urban infrastructure development – Learnings from G20 Infrastructure Working Group (IWG)’ was hosted by the Union ministry of finance and the ministry of housing and urban affairs

There is a need to look to the future and focus on creating a holistic urban ecosystem for ensuring last-mile access to services, enhanced operational efficiencies, financial sustainability of projects, and integration of digital technology, Union minister of housing and urban affairs Hardeep Singh Puri said.

Union minister of housing and urban affairs Hardeep Singh Puri (Twitter/@HardeepSPuri)
Union minister of housing and urban affairs Hardeep Singh Puri (Twitter/@HardeepSPuri)

He was addressing the National Workshop on ‘Leveraging private finance for urban infrastructure development – Learnings from G20 Infrastructure Working Group (IWG)’ hosted by the Union ministry of finance and the ministry of housing and urban affairs (MoHUA) in New Delhi on Wednesday.

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The Union minister also highlighted that Indian cities need to increase their capabilities – individually, organisationally, and institutionally.

The focus of the workshop was to explore India’s urban development strategies during its G20 presidency. Specifically, it aimed to analyse insights from the experiences of India’s Infrastructure Working Group (IWG) and centre attention on securing private investments for urban

The workshop was based on the New Delhi Leaders Declaration (NDLD) 2023, which endorsed the Principles for Financing Cities of Tomorrow aimed at ensuring sustainable, resilient, and inclusive urban development, advocating for critical reforms in urban planning, revenue generation, and innovative financing mechanisms.

Economic affairs secretary Ajay Seth emphasised the integration of IWG outcomes into India’s domestic policy-making and the pivotal role of “cities of tomorrow” as “catalysts” for the country’s socio-economic growth.

Secretary of the Ministry of housing and urban Affairs Manoj Joshi stressed long-term urban planning, value unlocking from land, fostering an environment conducive to private financing, and enhancing technical capacities. He highlighted the necessity for “cities to boost their own revenue sources to facilitate urban infrastructure development.”

The workshop included a panel discussion on ‘Key Challenges and Enabling Ecosystem for Attracting Private Financing in Urban Infrastructure.’

Madhav Pai, CEO of the World Resources Institute, India, moderated discussions among industry stalwarts. The panel dissected strategies to enhance city creditworthiness, develop bankable projects, capacitate city administrations, and diversify revenue sources to attract private capital for urban infrastructure.

Another panel discussed leveraging innovative financing instruments for urban infrastructure, emphasising loans, green/blue bonds, and sustainability-linked finance. The panellists also explored strategies to reshape sustainable infrastructure investment ecosystems, revamping financing mechanisms, and introducing concessional/blended financing for infrastructure projects.

Over 175 senior officials attended the workshop, including representatives from various states and Union Territories such as Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Sikkim, among others.

The event also saw the participation of senior executives from financial institutions, regulators, industry partners, and officials from the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) and MoHUA.

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