Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it is time to think about post-COVID requirements of the world and called for rejuvenation of urban centres. Addressing the Bloomberg New Economy Forum last evening, Mr Modi said the pandemic has shown that cities that were growth engines are also vulnerable zones. Several cities around the world declared themselves on the brink of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Mr Modi said the restart will not be possible without a reset of mindset, processes and practices.
He stressed on the need to build sustainable cities where cleaner lakes, rivers and air are the norm, and not the exception. The Prime Minister said Indian cities presented an extraordinary example during the pandemic even as there were worldwide incidents of resistance against the lockdown.
He said Indian cities meticulously followed these preventive measures. Mr Modi said cities are vibrant engines of growth and added that the post-COVID world has to be built by nurturing this key and fundamental resource. He said cities hold the power to drive the much needed change as people migrate because new cities give them work.
The Prime Minister said India has exciting opportunities for investment in urbanisation, mobility and innovation. He said these opportunities come along with a vibrant democracy, a business friendly climate, a huge market and a government which will leave no stone unturned to make India a preferred global investment destination.
Mr Modi said his government has announced simplified guidelines for technology and knowledge enabled service sector to empower people to work from anywhere, and live anywhere. He said looking at conditions created by the pandemic, the NDA government introduced an affordable rental housing initiative and brought the Real Estate Regulation Act. He added that this has transformed the dynamics of the Real Estate sector and made it more customer-oriented and transparent.
The Prime Minister said ‘Make In India’ push had led to development of tremendous indigenous capacity for production of transportation systems. He said it is going to help push the sustainable transport goals in a big way.