One of the biggest drivers of China's gravity-defying economic growth has been its huge investments in infrastructure. What does infrastructure do? It creates a solid, enabling environment that becomes a catalyst for economic growth. As a corollary, India's poor infrastructure development has been the biggest growth dampeners.
So it is clear that if the new government wants to bring India back on the growth track, major investments need to be made in the infrastructure space. And given that urban India is the biggest contributor to the country's Gross Domestic Product, development of urban infrastructure will remain a prime focus.
As per union minister for urban development M. Venkaiah Naidu (as reported by Livemint), India needs to invest an estimated US$ 250 billion over the next 20 years for basic urban infrastructure. This includes transport, water supply, sanitation and solid waste management.
Indeed, this means that there are big investment opportunities for investors, both global and domestic, in urban India. But for these opportunities to be attractive to investors, the government needs to create a hassle-free, transparent and conducive environment.
Fortunately, Mr Naidu is well-aware of the challenges and has emphasized on the need to bring in reforms and transparency in urban governance. Giving the example of Hyderabad, he insists on digitization of land records and property details of the cities. We very concur with the minister in this matter. Apparently, the Centre has plans to fund the scheme of digitization of the property details of every city. This will not only improve revenue of the urban bodies but also create the right environment for investments.
Let's see if the new government delivers what the previous one failed so miserably on.