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The Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that infrastructure is key to the growth of the economy. He said that an institutionalised forum amongst BRICS countries could serve as a regional knowledge hub for the exchange of information facilitated through cloud sharing and other electronic methods. Jaitley said that projects in transportation sector like Highways, Ports and Railways would be an area of mega economic activities as far as infrastructure sector in India is concerned.

Jaitley further said that investment, both from the public and private sector, would be required for infrastructure financing, especially in areas of health, education, sanitation, renewable energy, highways, ports and railways among others. The Finance Minister was delivering the Inaugural Address after inaugurating the BRICS India 2016 seminar on BRICS Seminar on Best Practices in Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) and Long-term Infrastructure Financing in the national capital.

The Finance Minister outlined the strategy that the government has adopted to boost the Indian economy like Make in India, 100 smart cities, and liberalised FDI regime. He said that the Government gives high priority to Infrastructure and have taken a number of policy decisions like NIIF, Innovative new financial instruments such as REITS, INVITS, IDFs. He stressed the need for BRICS member countries to share their experiences in financing and delivery of infra projects so that they can collectively move to higher quality and efficiency in the delivery of public services.

The Seminar brought together experts from BRICS countries in the field of infrastructure development and financing and PPPs for the exchange of best practices, experiences and expertise. The technical sessions covered the areas of Regulatory Issues and Financing of Infrastructure; Innovative Investment Vehicles for Long-Term Infrastructure Investment, PPP Project Delivery and Post award Contract management. The government is also proposing Public Contracts (Resolution of Disputes) Bill, Guidelines for remediating PPP Contracts, New Credit Rating system, Credit Enhancement for Infrastructure projects etc.