Business Standard

Third G20 infra summit meet from Monday with an eye on sustainability

Sixty-three delegates from G20 member countries, invitee nations and top global universities, such as Cambridge and Oxford, will take part in the meeting

G20

Sarthak Choudhury Narendranagar (Uttarakhand)
The third G20 infrastructure working group (IWG) meeting under India’s presidency begins in Narendranagar (Uttarakhand), on Monday.

Sixty-three delegates from G20 member countries, invitee nations and top global universities, such as Cambridge and Oxford, will take part in the meeting.

They will hold further discussions on the 2023 infrastructure agenda and follow up on the talks held during the previous IWG meeting in Visakhapatnam in March.

The discussions in Narendranagar will be held across seven sessions and involve two side events.

The flagship priority to be taken up at the third IWG meeting is ‘Financing Cities of Tomorrow: Inclusive, Resilient and Sustainable,’ along with other priorities.

Solomon Arokiaraj, joint secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, while briefing the media, said, “The group will deliberate on various aspects of infrastructure investments, including developing infrastructure as an asset class, promoting quality infrastructure investment, and identifying innovative instruments for mobilising financial resources for infrastructure investment.”

On the sidelines of the IWG meetings, two side events have also been planned. On Monday, the ‘High-Level Seminar on Roadmap to Sustainable Cities’ will be organised in partnership with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. 

The discussions, across three sessions, will allow G20 decision-makers to hear key challenges, from climate change to infrastructure resilience, fast urbanisation, and inclusiveness. They will also explore the role of technology, infratech and digitisation.

On Tuesday, the ministry of civil aviation is also set to host a roundtable on ‘Making India a maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) hub’ on the sidelines of the event.

The outcomes of the final IWG meet will be presented in the G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors to be held in Gandhinagar in July.

“Fifty per cent of the global population already lives in urban areas. Nearly 70 per cent is projected to move into urban areas. We are looking into ways in which we can make this more feasible,” Arokiaraj told Business Standard.

“We look to involve private players in the exercise as well. This is why we are taking suggestions from dignitaries from Washington and London. We want to involve private players, especially for tier-II and tier-III cities. For example, we have a road, and maybe, lease it out to a private player. The firm maintains the road for 20 years and decides its own toll charges. These models can work only if we involve private players. We’d also make sure that the prices don’t pinch the pockets of the poor,” he added. 

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First Published: Jun 25 2023 | 9:23 PM IST

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