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New cities would be important in creating new India: PM Modi

Reiterating his views on importance of smart cities in paving way for India’s development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Monday, said that new cities would be important in creating the new India.

“You are aware of the importance I attach to the development of smart cities. Gift city is the first ground up truly smart city in the country…I have said before that India can become a developed country in one generation. New cities will be important in creating the new India of our dreams,” said Prime Minister Modi, while inaugurating India International Exchange at GIFT city, here.

Finding Indian talent working abroad, Prime Minister Modi said that he wanted to bring Indian brains back to the country and provide leadership to the entire financial world at the same time.

“In those days, as now, wherever I went, I would meet some of the top financial brains of those countries. Whether in New York, London, Singapore, Hong Kong or Abu Dhabi, I would find many of them to be of Indian origin. I was impressed by their understanding of the financial world, and also their contributions to their adopted countries,” the Prime Minister said.

“I used to think, how can we bring this talent back and at the same time, provide leadership to the entire financial world,” he added.

While recalling India’s contribution in mathematics, the Prime Minister said Indian brains have excelled in fields of information technology and finance.

“Indians have a long tradition in mathematics. India invented the concept of ‘zero’ and the ‘decimal system’ more than two thousand years ago. It is no accident that Indians are now at the forefront of Information Technology and Finance, both areas of knowledge, where zero plays a crucial role!,” he said.

Putting light on services that the International Exchange would be providing, Prime Minister Modi further said, it would set new standards for quality of service and speed of transactions across the time zones.

“I am told this exchange will trade in equity, commodities, currencies and interest rate derivatives in the first phase. Later, it will trade equity instruments of Indian and foreign companies. I am told Masala bonds will also be available for trading here,” he said.

The Prime Minister also told that the exchange is set to be among the fastest exchanges in the world, with most modern trading, clearing and settlement systems.

Taking it back to the time when he was serving as the chief minister of Gujarat, the Prime Minister said it was then, when the Gift city was conceptualised, with the vision of providing facilities and the ability to transact in all markets in the world and with the inauguration of the Exchange, a crucial landmark was achieved.

“Gift city was born out of this vision. Our aim was to provide world class facilities to India’s world class talent in finance and technology. Today, with the inauguration of this Exchange, we have reached an important landmark in achieving that vision,” he said.

Expressing confidence in the concept of gift city, the Prime Minister said it would help in mitigating many of the criticisms and would end up becoming the price setter for some of the largest traded instruments in the world.

“There has been criticism for long that a lot of trading, even in Indian financial instruments, is currently taking place abroad. It is said that India has stopped becoming the price setter for even some Indian financial instruments. Gift city will be able to mitigate many of these criticisms. But my vision for Gift City is larger. My vision is that in ten years from now, Gift city should become the price setter for at least a few of the largest traded instruments in the world, whether in commodities, currencies, equities, interest rates or any other financial instrument.,” he said.

The Prime Minister said the international exposure, which the youth would be able to get from Gift city, would ensure that more and more of them would be able to join this important field.

He also urged Indian companies, exchanges and regulators, to help create a pool of experienced and world beating finance professionals.