U.S. Tells India To Resolve Land Acquisition, FDI Issues To Set Up Smart Cities

WASHINGTON:The U.S. asked India to resolve land acquisition problems and address issues concerning foreign direct investment for attracting funds for smart city projects.

"...Right now we are very much in the nascent stage of finding ways forward with India on smart cities issues. We do not have clarity on financing for the many projects that need to be done," U.S. Ambassador Richard Verma said.

In order to be successful, Indian state and central governments as well as the industry will need to take the lead in providing finances for smart cities, he said, adding that they are still deciding how much funding they will allocate.

"Land acquisition, foreign direct investment and other questions still remain unresolved. The expectation of large amounts of private sector finance, either domestic or foreign will be a challenge. These concerns mean many projects may not be commercially viable at the outset," Verma said.

He was speaking at the annual general meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham).

Verma said the challenge for the U.S. government and companies will be to work with Indian partners on creative approaches to develop appropriate, long term financing that will help realise these ambitious plans.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a vision of developing 100 smart cities as satellite towns of larger cities and by modernising the existing mid-sized cities.

On the two-way commerce, the US Ambassador said trade in goods and services between the two countries is growing and has crossed USD 100 billion.

Read More: Age of IPOs: Top 5 Startups All Set To Go Public  

Source: PTI