Implementing Urban Infrastructure: New Approaches to Public-Private Partnerships & Municipal Finance Innovations in South and South West Asia
Cities in the region are facing increasing demand for financing sustainable growth-inducing infrastructure such as roads and transport, social infrastructure systems, as well as environmental investments in areas such as waste management and water supply and sanitation. These gaps must be addressed for cities to grow in an equitable and environmentally responsible manner. The global community has come together on commitments to development outcomes through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda and has recognized the significance of city-level actions in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Furthermore, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, points to the imperative to mobilize domestic sources of finance.
Considering the scale of investment required in infrastructure space it is becoming increasingly imperative for countries to explore innovative models to implement infrastructure projects in the country. Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) has been one such option, which enables governments to optimally share the risks associated with a project during its life-cycle and in the process, extend the reach and the scope of the public delivery systems.
Apart from this, it is also becoming extremely critical for cities to ensure measures for self-sustainability both in-terms of finances and capacity. Especially in the case of India, a deeper deliberation is required on means of democratizing the governance at city-level with a view of providing greater operational and fiscal autonomy to the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs). Also, presently many cities in the region are struggling to achieve global SDG agenda amid pressures from growth and migration, as well as increasing domestic financial and political risks. Further, the risks of investing in infrastructure projects in developing countries are often perceived to be too high for private investors to commit to equity financing.
These challenges and emerging new opportunities necessitate long-term, predictable financing to improve the delivery of sustainable urban infrastructure and services by focusing on institutional environment and fiscal instruments. Hence, National Institution of Transforming India Aayog (NITI Aayog), the apex policy think tank of Government of India has partnered with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to host a conference at Pravasi-Bhartiya Kendra in New Delhi on 15th and 16th November, 2018 to deliberate on key regional issues, perspectives & way forward on “Implementing Urban Infrastructure: New Approaches to Public-Private Partnerships & Municipal Finance Innovations in- South and South West Asia”.