Talks focus on the human face of reforms and emergence of a business friendly India
Above: Urban Development Minister, M. Venkaiah Naidu at a roundtable discussion in Washington DC
– Washington D.C. - U.S. industry executives from the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) met with the Minister of Urban Development, M. Venkaiah Naidu, to discuss opportunities in the recently launched schemes of the Government of India that will have a significant impact on India’s urban development for the next few years.
Speaking about the resurgence of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, Minister Naidu said, “Public life in India is undergoing a rapid transformation. The economy is back on track, inflation is under control, and growth rate is likely to cross 8% in the coming years.”
He emphasized upon the human face of reforms such as social security schemes and affordable housing. Minister Naidu also urged investors to take advantage of the business friendly atmosphere in the country, inviting further cooperation in Smart Cities and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) projects.
Noting that India has prioritized the creation of 100 smart cities, which will incorporate the use of solar energy, rain water harvesting, good sanitation, drinking water and smart public transportation, Minister Naidu explained the recent guidelines for selection of smart cities, financing mechanisms and incentives for private sector participation.
“American enterprise is eager to participate and deepen its commercial dialogue through the 100 Smart Cities initiative launched by Prime Minister Modi and led by Minister Naidu. In his role as Parliamentarian, investors are confident that, under Minister Naidu’s leadership, the monsoon session of the Parliament will continue progress toward economic and regulatory reforms that are key to India’s economic progress,” said Purna Saggurti, Chairman of Global Corporate and Investment Banking at Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and a member of USIBC’s Board of Directors.
Expressing hope and optimism in Minister Naidu’s vision, USIBC President, Mukesh Aghi said, “Flagship programs such as Smart Cities, AMRUT and Housing for All reflect the Indian government’s dedication to innovation and technology, while not overlooking the urgent need to provide all citizens with access to basic necessities such as sanitation, water, power and means to earning a livelihood. Reforms in taxation and land acquisition remain central to the success of these schemes.”
Lauding Minister Naidu’s progress with the Smart Cities Initiative, Dr. Sreedhar Potarazu, CEO of Vital Springs said, “There are immense opportunities for innovation in India’s digital space. Smart cities will be the transformation India has been waiting for. Healthcare is at the nexus of this new digital economy that can expand the reach of quality care.”
Minister Naidu interacted with senior leaders from business groups such as iTECH, IBM, Honeywell, Genworth, UTC, AECOM, Apple, AT&T, Dell, Qualcomm, Cognizant, Capital Novus, Moody's, and Bank of America.
About U.S. India Business Council:
Formed in 1975 at the request of the U.S. and Indian governments, the U.S.-India Business Council is the premier business advocacy organization, comprised of more than 300 top-tier U.S. and Indian companies advancing U.S.-India commercial ties. USIBC is the largest bilateral trade association in the United States, with liaison presence in New York, Silicon Valley, and New Delhi.