“Mumbai – What Next ? ; Get the Basics First” says Venkaiah Naidu

“Mumbai – What Next ?  ; Get the Basics First”  says Venkaiah Naidu

Union Minister for Urban Development Mr. Venkaiah Naidu called for ‘Basics First’ at the Mumbai Next Summit held in Mumbai on Feb 6, 2015
Centre promises all support to develop Mumbai as a Global Financial Hub
Promising the whole hearted support of the Centre to develop Mumbai as a Global Financial Hub, the Union Urban Development Minister, Mr. Venkaiah Naidu today asked the Devendra Fadnavis Government to focus on ‘Basics First’.  Speaking at the valedictory function of the Mumbai Next Summit on Friday, Mr. Naidu said, “urbanization is a reality. We have the main challenge of providing basic infrastructure for the people in urban areas. The focus should be on drinking water, sanitation, solid waste management, affordable housing, slum redevelopment and a good public transport.”  He said the Ministry of Urban Development will extend all support to the Government of Maharashtra in all the areas listed above.
The Minister said public transport needs to be strengthened on priority. “More cars on the streets may be a symbol of prosperity, but it creates great congestion.”  He said Mumbai had many firsts to its credit including the first bus service and the first suburban train service, but observed that today its local train service was under great strain.  “The city has only 11 km of Metro corridor, as compared to 120 kms in Delhi, where another 150 kms are being added,” said Mr. Naidu.
Union Minister of State for Finance Mr. Jayant Sinha addressing the Mumbai Next Summit held in Mumbai on Feb 6, 2015
The Urban Development Minister stressed on simplification of approvals and said there should be no ‘man-to-man contact’ as it tends to breed corruption. “All the processes should be made online and third party inspection should be mandatory” he said.  However, the Minister added that overnight miracles can not be expected as India was a democracy and everyone had to be taken along “It is a step by step process” he said.
Mr. Naidu asserted that the investment climate in the country had improved for the businessmen and inflation had come down bringing cheer to the common man. Defending his government’s resolve of creating a pro-business environment in the country, Mr. Venkaiah Naidu said “some people call us ‘pro-business’.  What is wrong in being pro-business?  It is the businessmen who create wealth in the country, and if no wealth is created, what will you distribute under welfare programmes?”.
The Minister called for greater participation of private sector in infrastructure development programme of the country. He said Public-Private Partnership – PPP is the only sustainable model to go ahead.
Earlier, in his address to a gathering, Union Minister of State for Finance, Mr. Jayant Sinha narrating his days as an Investment Banker at the BKC, established an easy connect with the audience. He said financial services, being high value sector can be a leader in wealth creation.  Mr. Sinha said, since Mumbai accounted for 50-60% of market capitalization it was best suited to become the Global Financial Hub. “There are certain regulatory and taxation issues which needs to be addressed  and there is no reason to doubt why BKC can not become the next Canary Wharf.”
Ministers, CEOs, Bankers and Bollywood stars in audience at the Mumbai Next Summit held in Mumbai on Feb 6, 2015
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addressed the inaugural session of the  Summit via Video Link due to  his pre-occupation with a Niti Ayog meeting in New Delhi. (See Box Item)
Maharashtra Chief Minister Mr. Devendra Fadnavis gave details of reform measures initiated by his government and stressed on making Maharashtra an easier destination to do business.  He said said the coastal road project and the Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link would be  completed over the next 2-3 years.
Mumbai Next : Transforming Mumbai Metropolitan Region as a Global Financial Hub was an idea exchange platform organized by the Maharashtra Government and Mumbai First Foundation. Top industrialists, CEOs, bankers, businessmen, Bollywood stars, policy makers and bureaucrats participated in the Summit.
Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley addresses Mumbai Next summit via Video Link. Feb 6, 2015
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addresses Mumbai Next via Video Link
Advocates increased public spending and channelizing domestic savings into infrastructure
Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley today said the government will soon put in place a financing model  that will attract FDI and institutional finance into India’s infrastructure sector.   Addressing the Mumbai Next Summit via video link, Mr. Jaitley said “all models of would have to be explored. The country cannot solely rely on foreign investment, it needs to increase public spending, in the first stage, while also converting domestic savings into infrastructural financing.”
The Finance Minister welcomed the initiatives taken by the Maharashtra Government for attracting investment and boosting infrastructure.  He said, Mumbai being the financial capital is the engine of nation’s growth. “”I’m delighted that Mumbai and Maharashtra have joined this renewed race for inviting investments,” he said, adding that this follows similar moves initiated by West Bengal, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. “ India is no longer only a country governed by cooperative federalism. It has entered the era of competitive federalism. He who reforms will take the country forward,” Mr. Jaitley added.
Describing the last 10 years as a period of missed opportunity, Jaitely said that a series of initiatives and policy steps by NDA government have brought India back on the radar of global businesses and investors.  He said the NDA government has already opened up insurance, railways and defence to foreign investments and will focus on investor friendly taxation policies.
PIB Mum | Sonal (MD)