• Smart City programme: Ambassadors of 150 countries invited to Investment Summit

    In a major international outreach to garner investments in the flagship Smart City programme, the Narendra Modi government has invited ambassadors of all 150 missions in India to a grand investment summit on May 19.

    The government would pitch projects worth Rs 50,560 crore across 20 cities, chosen through a competitive process conducted all over India, to be developed as smart cities in the first phase.

    According to sources, most countries have confirmed their participation in the summit, which is being held at Taj Mansingh hotel. Union urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu would inaugurate the summit and invite countries for investment opportunities.

    The day-long summit would see presentations from the urban development ministry and participation of state governments. Representatives of six major countries — United States of America, United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, France and Spain —have agreed to give presentations at the investment summit regarding interests, opportunities and concerns of business community.

    Apart from the 20 cities, another 23 cities, which had missed the bus in the first competitive round of selection, have submitted their re-worked plans. Sources indicated that the urban development ministry would include more cities in the first phase from these 23 cities. A senior official confirmed to ET, “This decision would be taken by May 15. At the investment summit we may have projects from more than 20 cities for investment. The final list would be released by the minister before the summit.”

    The urban development ministry is eager for investments from international players. So far, US and France have agreed to develop three smart cities each in India. United States has vouched its support to develop Vishakhapatnam, Allahabad and Ajmer as smart cities. Chandigarh, Puducherry and Nagpur will be developed as smart cities with the help of France.

    The initiative was launched on June 25 last year. The ministry is keen that with an international push some projects would be initiated when the programme completes its first anniversary.

    The Centre is monitoring the progress of states regularly. Ahead of the international investment summit, the state governments are now busy in converting their smart city plans into actionable projects to be pitched for investment. Lanny McDonald Authentic Jersey

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