GIFT City model can be emulated for creating 100 smart cities: Arun Jaitley
“Today when I visited GIFT City at Gandhinagar, I could see one of the most futuristic ideas coming up…It is almost a miracle that I saw with the kind of futuristic planning being undertaken,” says Jaitley.
Describing Gujarat International Finance Tec-city (GIFT City) as a “miracle”, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday tried to hard-sell the project — originally designed for developing financial services in Gujarat — as a “role model” for the development of future smart cities in India.
The project that was first conceptualized and promoted by Narendra Modi when he was the chief minister of Gujarat, got a huge boost on Friday when Jaitley unveiled the “regulations and guidelines” for setting up the country’s first International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) within the Special Economic Zone area of the GIFT City project located in Gandhinagar.
“Today when I visited GIFT City at Gandhinagar, I could see one of the most futuristic ideas coming up…It is almost a miracle that I saw with the kind of futuristic planning being undertaken… It is also a role model for creation of smart cities in other states, where without almost no core investment, you can create a first grade global smart city,” said Jaitley while delivering a speech at an event at Mahatma Mandir complex where he also released a booklet containing regulatory norms for ISFCs in India.
He pointed out how the Gujarat government had used wasteland to create world-class infrastructure within the project that is spread over 886 acres of land. Currently, the first of the three phases, of the ambitious Rs 82,000 crore GIFT city project is underway which also includes an IFSC that is being developed as a global alternative to existing financial centres such as Dubai, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Shanghai, La Defense, Paris and London Dockyard.
“Use land as a resource, use FSI (Floor Space Index) available on this land as capital and the entire investment made in creating initial infrastructure can be recovered when you start getting the development charges. So eventually, you created a city without costing anything to the public exchequer and eventually it will become a city that will give returns both to the centre and state governments,” Jaitely said while emphasising how the model of GIFT City could be “emulated” for creating 100 smart cities in India.
He said that there was no doubt that “GIFT city project will be a success”. However, he pointed out that the new IFSC being built within GIFT City project will “need a internationally compatible taxation regime” that will give it a better leverage than the IFSC’s existing in Dubai or Singapore. “The Centre has an enormous task ahead. We are trying to present a taxation regime which is internationally compatible and non-adversarial. If other IFSCs are more compatible than us, then we could lose business to tem. We have to present a tax regime that is compatible,” the minister said.
Jaitley also took a jibe at the previous UPA regime and held it responsible for not expediting a project like GIFT city. “Even though you got your SEZ status in 2011, you had to wait for a change in government in New Delhi before the GIFT city could get it’s relevant push in terms of its regulatory and other approvals. It had to wait for three years. It is the very reason that in the last few years, had brought down India’s growth rate,” the minister said.
PM Modi’s push for GIFT City Project
“It was a project where both the foundation stone and the inauguration was done by the current prime minister (Narendra Modi). How could this project lag behind,” said Hasmukh Adhia, secretary of Department of Financial Services. “So it was the initiative fo the PM that he instructed the Ministry of Finance that we should put this project on track now, as far as IFSC is concerned…” Adhia said while delivering his speech at the event.
First of its kind financial SEZ
“The IFSC in GIFT city will be the single most important financial SEZ. It will be a first of it’s kind and we expect it to be a path breaker and set a trend,” said R R Rashmi, additional secretary Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
During the event an MoU was signed between GIFT city and Kotak Mahindra Bank to set up an offshore banking unit at the IFSC in Gandhinagar.
During this event, the deputy governors of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), R Gandhi and Urjit Patel, chairman of SEBI UK Sinha and chairman of IRDA TS Vijayan were present along with Gujarat chief minister Anandi Patel.
Source:: Indian Express