India Progressing, But Challenges Still Dog Smart City Programme: US Team

Published: 12th February 2016 06:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th February 2016 06:14 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: With the US delegation on the Smart Cities Infrastructure Business Development Mission making its third stop in India in Chennai on Thursday, US Deputy Secretary of State Bruce Andrews said India was making an incremental progress in the ease of doing business.

However, challenges remained and addressing these challenges would be vital in determining the magnitude of American participation in the project.

Speaking to reporters and delegates at the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce event and earlier at an interaction with the press, Andrews said the US and its private sector saw an immense potential in the smart city initiative. But while the ease of doing business was improving, there were challenges still to be addressed.

“There are challenges in doing business here and India is making incremental progress. There is an interest and a commitment to keep on making progress and that is encouraging,” he said.

Later, at the IACC event, he said greater US private sector investment would depend on addressing persistent business challenges.

“For example, capital-intensive infrastructure projects are often delayed by protracted legal disputes and an inability to find financing. This can be addressed by improving firms’ access to private capital and by further development of India’s capital markets and improvements to the framework for public-private partnerships,” he said. He added that the response to the Kelkar Committee report recently released by the Ministry of Finance was a good sign.

“Ultimately, US companies and investors from around the world need markets with clear public-private partnership structures, predictable regulatory environments, and strong intellectual property protections. Progress has been made on some broader market access issues, but more can be done,” he said.


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