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New Delhi: Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said that infrastructure is key to growth of economy. He said that an institutionalized forum amongst BRICS countries could serve as a regional knowledge hub with exchange of information facilitated through cloud sharing and other electronic methods.

Jaitley said that projects in transportation sector like Highways, Ports and Railways will be area of mega economic activities as far as infrastructure sector in India is concerned. He said that investment, both from public and private sector, will be required for infrasturucture financing especially in areas of health, education, sanitation, renewable energy, highways, ports and railways among others, according to a PIB release. The Finance Minister was delivering the inaugural Address after inaugurating the BRICS India 2016 seminar on “ Best Practices in Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) and Long-term Infrastructure Financing” in the national capital on Thursday.

Jaitley outlined the strategy the government has adopted to boost the Indian Economy like Make in India, 100 smart cities, and liberalised FDI regime.

Earlier in his welcome address, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Shaktikanta Das said the  infrastructure financing especially in clearly demarketed projects is the need of the hour. He said that National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) will play a pivotal role especially in infrastructure financing of projects in areas of ports, highways and railways in particular. The Seminar brought together experts from BRICS countries in the field of infrastructure development and financing and PPPs for exchange of best practices, experiences and expertise.

India assumed the Chairmanship of the BRICS in 2016. As part of the run up to the BRICS Summit scheduled for October, 2016, a number of events are being organised.

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