Urban sector offers $140 billion opportunity, Naidu tells foreign investors


NEW DELHI: Urban sector in India offers an investment opportunity of about $140 billion over the next 20 years to both foreign and domestic players, Venkaiah Naidu said while inaugurating the Smart City Expo World Congress’ at Barcelona on Tuesday.

Naidu, who is leading a 35-member delegation including Punjab’s deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, said that the government’s initiatives in urban sector offer huge investment opportunity to foreign players. While highlighting Narendra Modi government’s decision to liberalize foreign direct investment (FDI) norms in real estate and construction sector, the minister said several other initiatives are being taken to improve the ‘ease of doing business’ in India.

Naidu said that India’s efforts towards building 100 smart cities are aimed at addressing the concerns about energy and water consumption, inclusive and sustainable urbanization, climate change and urban governance. He said building smart cities, ensuring basic infrastructure in 500 cities and towns, development of heritage cities and providing houses for all the urban poor are daunting tasks but the government is committed to convert the challenges of growing urbanization into an opportunity, since urbanization is a proven engine of economic growth.