US firms applaud new Urban Missions of India

Urban Development Minister, M. Venkaiah Naidu at a roundtable discussion in Washington DC
Urban Development Minister, M. Venkaiah Naidu at a roundtable discussion in Washington DC

US industry executives from the US-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.

Naidu emphasised upon the human face of reforms such as social security schemes and affordable housing. The minister 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 prioritised 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 Narendra Modi,” 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.

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.”

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.

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