A delegation from 18 Canadian infrastructure companies on Friday held extensive discussions with Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and senior ministry officials on investment opportunities in various urban sector initiatives launched over the last one year.
The companies, which were part of the delegation, are involved in construction of high performance buildings, providing intelligent LED-based lighting solutions, low power and cost effective embedded hardware and software technologies, sanitation solutions, solid waste management technologies, water treatment technologies, development of theme parks, converting solar fuel into light, architecture, planning and engineering solutions to urban issues.
Naidu informed the delegation that investment climate in urban areas of the country is improving further to launch of new initiatives like Swachh Bharat Mission, Smart City Mission and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), under which, he said, urban local bodies are rediscovering themselves.
Elaborating on this, he said urban local bodies across the country have undertaken comprehensive urban planning including identification of infrastructure deficiencies at city level and evolving strategies to overcome them.
Capacity building of urban local bodies is receiving priority attention to ensure they are able to cope with the challenges, the Minister said.
“The Government has taken several measures to improve the ease of doing business in urban areas by streamlining approvals for investment projects which will facilitate investment flows,” Naidu said.
Giving an account on investment opportunities in urban areas, UD Secretary Madhusudhan Prasad said that the ongoing efforts to rectify deficiencies in basic urban infrastructure alone offers an investment opportunity of over USD 1,000 billion and Smart City Mission offers even more.
He urged the Canadian companies to participate in special purpose vehicles to be floated under various new urban missions besides investing in projects.
The delegation interacted with the senior officials of the Ministry for over an hour seeking information and clarifications on various aspects of new urban schemes and their implementation processes.
Robert McCubbing, Counsellor (Commercial), High Commission of Canada, said that his country which is a leader in PPP model of investments was keen that Canadian companies make use of the huge investment opportunities in urban India.
The delegation comprised of representatives of companies viz., Clearford, AB Embedded Systems, Premier Tech Aqua, NMC Ontario, Forrec, LED Roadway Lighting, Air Canada Cargo, Bombardier Transportation, IBI Group, Ovivo, Sentinel Waste, R.V.Anderson Associates Ltd., RWDI, International Road Dynamics, Arcop, Palmex, Challenger Manufacturing and World Council on City Data (WCCD).