FICCI Part­ners with the Fi­nance Min­istry for Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank An­nual Meeting

FICCI Business Digest - - Contents -

Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank (AIIB), head­quar­tered in Bei­jing, com­menced its op­er­a­tions in Jan­uary 2016 and has now grown to 84 ap­proved members from around the world. In­dia is one of the found­ing members and the sec­ond largest share­holder in the bank, af­ter China, with 7.5 per cent vot­ing share, fol­lowed by Rus­sia.

The bank was formed with a view to deepen en­gage­ments within Asia Pa­cific coun­tries for build­ing of in­fra­struc­ture in the re­gion. The bank had its 3rd An­nual Meeting from 25-26 June 2018 in Mum­bai, which was hosted by the Gov­ern­ment of In­dia.

As a pre­cur­sor to the an­nual meeting, AIIB in as­so­ci­a­tion with the Min­istry of Fi­nance, Gov­ern­ment of In­dia, or­ga­nized a se­ries of eight­the­matic lead-up events in In­dian cities. FICCI and Re­search and In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices for De­vel­op­ing Coun­tries (RIS) had co-or­ga­nized four lead-up events in Guwa­hati, Bhopal, Pune and Mum­bai, re­spec­tively. In ad­di­tion, FICCI or­ga­nized the 'In­dia In­fra­struc­ture Expo 2018' from 24-26 June 2018 in as­so­ci­a­tion with the Min­istry of Fi­nance.

Guwa­hati: Phys­i­cal and So­cial In­fra­struc­ture for Re­gional Devel­op­ment

The first lead up event was held in Guwa­hati on 14-15 May 2018 on 'Phys­i­cal and So­cial In­fra­struc­ture for Re­gional Devel­op­ment' with the ob­jec­tive to high­light the huge un­tapped po­ten­tial of the North­east in boost­ing In­dia's trade by strength­en­ing its ties with South­east Asia and pro­mot­ing re­gional devel­op­ment, which has not yet been fully har­nessed due to in­ad­e­quate in­fra­struc­ture.

FICCI in as­so­ci­a­tion with the Min­istry of Fi­nance, Gov­ern­ment of In­dia and RIS or­ga­nized the event, which was in­au­gu­rated by the Gover­nor of As­sam, Prof. Jagdish Mukhi. He said, 'The gov­ern­ment is putting a lot of fo­cus on in­fra­struc­ture devel­op­ment for the all-round devel­op­ment of the North­east,' and added that As­sam is at the heart of the Cen­tre's Act East Pol­icy and Prime Minister Naren­dra Modi has put As­sam in resur­gent growth back.

The North­east can con­trib­ute to the pros­per­ity of the whole of In­dia if the po­ten­tial of the re­gion can be mean­ing­fully uti­lized, said the As­sam Gover­nor. 'This strate­gi­cally im­por­tant re­gion (the North­east) is also home to nat­u­ral re­sources… the re­gional devel­op­ment strat­egy needs to in­clude con­scious steps to ensure op­ti­mal value re­al­iza­tion out of these re­sources,' he added.

He said, 'The North­east has also the best rep­u­ta­tion of be­ing the hub for in­dus­trial com­mu­ni­ca­tion for its prox­im­ity to the South Asian coun­tries. Hence, dif­fer­ent ini­tia­tives like UDAN, sin­gle win­dow clear­ance for trade, in­land wa­ter­ways must be uti­lized for max­i­mum devel­op­ment of the re­gion.'

Ravi Capoor, Ad­di­tional Chief Sec­re­tary, Depart­ment of In­dus­tries and Com­merce, Gov­ern­ment of As­sam, said the North­east was a pros­per­ous area prior to In­dia's in­de­pen­dence due to its trade with China, Myan­mar and South­east Asia, but be­came land­locked due to the cir­cum­stances that fol­lowed In­dia's par­ti­tion. The eco­nomic sal­va­tion of the North­east lies in open­ing up to South­east Asia through bet­ter in­fra­struc­ture and con­nec­tiv­ity net­works.

PD Sona, Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary (Tourism), Gov­ern­ment of Arunachal Pradesh, said any pol­icy re­gard­ing the North­east needs to take into ac­count var­i­ous chal­lenges be­ing faced by the re­gion, and take for­ward the HIRA (High­ways, In­ter­net, Rail­ways and Air­ways) Pol­icy. He wanted mul­ti­lat­eral fi­nance in­sti­tu­tions like the AIIB to take up in­no­va­tive projects in the re­gion, in­clud­ing the ones that use clean and green en­ergy.

Bhopal: Clean and Re­new­able En­ergy

The next lead-up event was in Bhopal on 21 May 2018 on the theme 'Clean and Re­new­able En­ergy'. The grow­ing de­mand for en­ergy in­cre­men­tal to ris­ing pros­per­ity of mid­dle class and rapid in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion has posed chal­lenges for de­vel­op­ing coun­tries in­clud­ing In­dia. The work­shop ex­plored av­enues for re­duc­ing dependence on the tra­di­tional and con­ven­tional sources of en­ergy to clean, ef­fi­cient and low-car­bon en­ergy sources.

Narayan Singh Kush­wah, Minister of New & Re­new­able En­ergy, Gov­ern­ment of Mad­hya Pradesh; Manu Sri­vas­tava, Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary, New & Re­new­able En­ergy Depart­ment, Mad­hya Pradesh; and AK Verma, Joint Sec­re­tary, Min­istry of Power, shared their per­spec­tives in the in­au­gu­ral ses­sion. The pan­el­lists agreed that the ever-in­creas­ing de­mand for en­ergy re­sult­ing from ris­ing pros­per­ity of the mid­dle class and rapid ur­ban­iza­tion in the de­vel­op­ing coun­tries is in­evitable. The up­ward pres­sure on en­ergy con­sump­tion due to rise in per capita in­come would con­tinue. There would not only be a need for higher sup­ply of en­ergy but also of cleaner and low­car­bon en­ergy sources. In­ter­na­tional

The event was at­tended by em­i­nent ex­perts, pol­icy prac­ti­tion­ers, of­fi­cials from the cen­tral gov­ern­ment, state gov­ern­ment, in­dus­try lead­ers and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of mul­ti­lat­eral devel­op­ment banks in­clud­ing AIIB to de­lib­er­ate on the per­ti­nent is­sues re­lat­ing to un­lock­ing fi­nance for clean en­ergy, in­sti­tu­tional and reg­u­la­tory en­vi­ron­ment, tech­no­log­i­cal op­tions for sus­tain­able en­ergy devel­op­ment, new op­por­tu­ni­ties for in­no­va­tive fi­nance and other rel­e­vant as­pects.

Pune: Wa­ter and San­i­ta­tion

The next event was in Pune on 31 May-1 June 2018 with 'Wa­ter and San­i­ta­tion' as the cen­tral theme, which res­onated the de­sire of gov­ern­ments in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries to pro­vide clean and safe drink­ing wa­ter and proper san­i­ta­tion to its ci­ti­zen.

While In­dia is mak­ing sig­nif­i­cant strides in wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion sec­tor, what is needed is holis­tic ap­proach and pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion in sus­tain­abil­ity of out­comes opined var­i­ous ex­perts at the sem­i­nar.

The panel dis­cus­sions in­cluded var­i­ous ex­perts de­lib­er­at­ing on top­ics in­clud­ing ef­fi­cient wa­ter man­age­ment, drink­ing wa­ter, san­i­ta­tion in­fra­struc­ture and waste man­age­ment, fi­nanc­ing and reg­u­la­tory is­sues, amongst oth­ers.

Paramesh­waran Iyer, Sec­re­tary, Min­istry of Drink­ing Wa­ter and San­i­ta­tion, dis­cussed how Swachh Bharat Mis­sion has made sig­nif­i­cant changes in the san­i­ta­tion sec­tor with pi­o­neer­ing bold ini­tia­tives by var­i­ous states to tackle the men­ace of open defe­ca­tion. The big­gest game changer was the prime minister putting Swachh Bharat on top of the devel­op­ment agenda. There is also fo­cus on ver­i­fi­ca­tion and sus­tain­abil­ity of pro­gramme with ex­pert group look­ing at in­de­pen­dent ver­i­fi­ca­tion. He said that this is a peo­ples' move­ment.

With re­spect to wa­ter man­age­ment, Iyer said that the Gov­ern­ment of In­dia re­cently launched 'Swa­jal' – a com­mu­nity led drink­ing wa­ter project aimed at pro­vid­ing sus­tain­able and ad­e­quate

Prof. Jagdish Mukhi, Gover­nor of As­sam, ad­dress­ing the first lead up event in Guwa­hati.

Dig­ni­taries at the lead-up event in Bhopal.

Paramesh­waran Iyer, Sec­re­tary, Min­istry of Drink­ing Wa­ter and San­i­ta­tion, ad­dress­ing the event.

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