October 2016: Mr. Ajit Gulabchand, Chairman and Managing Director, HCC, participated in the India Economic Summit held on 6th and 7th of October 2016 at Taj Palace, New Delhi.
Mr. Gulabchand participated in three sessions - Triggering India’s Resource Revolution, Accelerating Infrastructure Investment in India and Cracking India’s Urban Code.
Mr. Gulabchand was Speaker and Discussion Leader in ‘Triggering India’s Resource Revolution’ session. He shared insights on India’s water resources challenges, including the nexus to other key growth pillars such as urbanization and agriculture. The discussion also revolved around how technological and systems innovation can reduce India’s resource footprint? What are the innovations, technologies and policies that can help India maximize its natural resources without bursting the Earth’s ‘carbon bubble’.
The session on ‘Accelerating Infrastructure Investment in India’ was designed to identify key issues and areas in India’s infrastructure market. The discussion highlighted the potential in the collaboration of the public and private sectors to bridge the financing gap to spur development in basic infrastructure and draw a roadmap for accelerating India’s infrastructure by creating a formal working group and outlining its mandate.
The Government of India has announced a major line-up of infrastructure projects for the next five years. This includes an estimated investment of $1 trillion in overall infrastructure with investment in power, transport, water and communications (ICT). While these targets are impressive, the lack of financing options for long-term infrastructure projects acts as a major deterrent for potential private investors in India.
Additional sources of capital should come into play to bridge the financing gap while at the same time designing a pipeline of viable infrastructure deals with standardized procurement procedures to crowd-in institutional & private investors.
The session on ‘Cracking India’s Urban Code’ was to discuss in detail the kind of reforms and systemic solutions that are needed to make Indian cities smarter. The key issues addressed during the discussion were how to enhance services and infrastructure with robust IT connectivity, rethinking urban mobility and resource management in view of growing population and how to ensure safe and seamless environments for its citizens. Speaking on the occasion Mr. Gulabchand said “India needs smart cities now and a smart city is a city which understands the need of its citizen and the city administration provides it before the citizens ask for it.” He also spoke about the issues in governing these smart cities and how public private partnership in governance will benefit the smart cities.