Friday, June 29, 2018

#Sanju is not a BioPic, it scores with Raj Kumar Hirani's signature OTT humor

#Sanju roars & scores with Kamlesh, a fictional Gujju stereotypical character etched brilliantly by Hirani 

Movies are neither my Tubs of Popcorn nor scoops of IceCream. For many of us  Sanjay Dutt = Deadly Dutt + Spoilt Brat , who can neither dance nor act ... efficiently . For me,  Ranbir Kapoor = EXs of Sonam, Dipika , Katrina and still when I received the bunch of First Day First Show Sanju Movie tickets FOC, I went 1/100th heartedly.
Alas , I did not like opening scene at all and sat there cursing myself... wondering why the hell Anushka Sharma could not find properly fitting eyelashes , lenses & WIG. Actually all the wigs, yes there are too many from Paresh Rawal's to Sonam Kapoor's to Manisha Koirala's to Ranbir's Four+ ... none of them do justice ... or add face value to the characters they are portraying.
Well to cut a long story short ... As claimed Sanju is not 100 %  Bio pic . It's only 49% Biopic + 51% Entertaining Fiction ... that too Rajkumar Hirani style OTT Gujju stereotyping. This movie is 5* ... Yes, I repeat Five Star. 
It has 3 important features that make any movie ... Super Duper Hit ... 1. Story 2. Story 3. Story 4. Raju Hirani's direction & dialogue  / Screenplay : Abhijat Joshi ( Whistle ... Whistle ... more whistles ) 5. Performance of Vicky Kaushal, The USP of #Sanju is Kamli- Kamlesh Kapasi- Vicky Kaushal is almost 99% fictional character. Followed by Ranbir Kapoor, Jim Sarbh , Paresh Rawal , Manisha Koirala , Anushka in this order only. Is it just partial memory loss that Priya Dutt's character is given hardly any footage compared to Manyata Dutt ?. But then again , this is not Biopic. It's just a Bollywood movie that's why it blames Media conveniently yet unconvincingly .... for Sanju's problems.

Credits Bellow : Source : * Wikipedia

Directed byRajkumar Hirani
Produced byVidhu Vinod Chopra
Rajkumar Hirani[1][2]
Written byRajkumar Hirani
Abhijat Joshi
StarringRanbir Kapoor
Paresh Rawal
Vicky Kaushal
Manisha Koirala
Dia Mirza
Sonam Kapoor
Anushka Sharma
Jim Sarbh
Music byOriginal songs:
A. R. Rahman
Rohan Rohan
Vikram Montrose
Original score:
Sanjay Wandrekar
Atul Raninga
CinematographyRavi Varman
Edited byRajkumar Hirani
Rajkumar Hirani Films
Vinod Chopra Films
Distributed byFox Star Studios
20th Century Fox

HGH India unveils Home Fashion and Lifestyle Trends 2018 – 2019

 HGH India 2018, India`s largest trade-show for home textiles, home décor, house ware and gifts – designed exclusively for the professional and trade visitors – presented the latest trends forecast by it in home fashion and lifestyle at a press conference in Mumbai. Conceptualized and implemented by the internationally renowned design office Sahm + Permantier, the trend, under the title ‘Transition’,reflect the influence of social, lifestyle and technological changes in the Indian home products market in 2018 – 19.

The predicted trends are derived from intense research on colours, materials and patterns as well as on changing consumer values, lifestyle, evolving technology and attitudes. The trend book  helps manufacturers, brands, retailers and professionals in home business to connect their products and innovations to the aspirational Indian consumers who see their home as an expression of their lifestyle and evolving culture.
The Four Trends for 2018-19 are:
So Funky at Home:It is the most dynamic and optimistic trend, gritty and upbeat. This trend is open for the patchwork of life. A lot of inspiration for wallpapers and textiles is based on industrial materials: mesh and grid structures displayed with a wide range effects, including layers. The prevailing patterns under this trend are wild stripes, scratched tapes, wavy and zigzags, bold typography elements and comic strip aesthetics. For textiles and objects, transparency effects are of interest as foils and vinyl, coloured transparent plastic and LED light décor. Vibrant colours are combined with black and white; neon colours give a striking accent.
Soft shades of Nature:An atmosphere of privacy and spa, cosy and comfort is created through this trend. The upholstery is held in fine textures for a relaxing upscale ambiance. Gentle colour fading, laces, net,  shiny silk, metallic yarn effects and sequins work are displayed mainly in floral décor. Walls are gently coloured, soft shadings of warm pink to violet create a subtle sensitive atmosphere, highlighted by sand and beige tones. Beds are laid in gracious and comforting colours transmitting clearness and light. Soft yellow and green accents recover the feeling of gentle sunshine and nature. A special note is given by gold and pastel metallic shine accessories, leaving the rooms with a delicate scent.
Collector's Chamber: The visitor is welcomed by dark mysterious and velvety colours, possibly held in umbra and bronze shades, to enter the most private rooms of the collector type. The collector's chamber displays an intellectual understanding of interior decoration with a hint of drama and eccentricity. Patterns are modern and geometric, but may also show opulent floral ornaments and high fashion jungle prints in rather dark colours, highlighted in sand and pale green. A lot of velvet, rich jacquard and textured fabrics are introduced as being newly inspired by nature. Huge green plants or dark tinted wallpaper with blue-greenish vegetable design or bed linen indiscreet greens escort the mind into epicurean spheres of a connoisseur.
Smart Bohemians: Ethnic references in the manner of heritage chic are mixed with the freshness of Scandinavian style or comfortable and smart lifestyle, making the perfect match for a joyous and modern family. Ecological commitment is present against  casual décor offering a hint of surprising harmony. The aesthetics of handmade products are applied to all kind of consumer goods. The revival of ornamental styles of ceramic tiles as well as traditional block print motives are expressed in patterns of wallpaper, home textile and table ware. Light coloured wood and all kind of natural looking materials give a relaxed and young signature to the everyday hardcore family use of interiors. Accents are given to real basketry, hand work and furniture for daily use. Eco-friendly materials and more products from renewable primary sources are transmitting a new philosophy of environmental protection which today's children are imbibing in themselves.
Commenting on the launch, Mr. Arun Roongta. Managing Director, HGH India, said,“The Trend Book is an attempt to help manufactures and brands design products which will appeal to the modern consumers.retailers use these to source relevant products that see demand in the market and quick acceptance amongst  the home shoppers . At HGH India 2018, the trends pavilion will showcase a manifestation of ‘Transition’ which will uphold all the elements of ‘So Funky at Home’, ’Soft Shades of Nature’,‘Collector’s Chamber’ and ‘Smart Bohemian’in four different sections. We look forward to the trends setting a theme for the industry which will be seen in homes through the 2018-19 retail season.”
The trends forecast in ‘Transition’ are also available compiled in a trend book,They have a physical manifestation at a generously dimensioned special area in HGH India 2018 named the Trends Pavilion in Hall 1. The Trends Pavilion is not an abstract concept of future trends but applicable designs and colours which can be replicated. The innovative and fashionable styles, textures and products used in the trends pavilion are sourced from exhibitors, who are showcasing their products at the trade show, emphasizing the utilitarian objective of the showcased trends.
HGH India 2018, India’s largest trade show for home textiles, home décor, house ware and gifts is being held at the Bombay Exhibition Centre from July 3-5, 2018. The trade show houses products from over 600 brands and manufacturers from 30 countries.It expects a footfall of 30,000 serious trade visitors from over 475 cities and towns across India.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Fujifilm India announces the launch of its all new Square Style instax SQUARE SQ6

- Expanding the popular square format lineup Fujifilm announces the launch of its new instant camera– instax SQUARE SQ6Enjoy applying the versatile functions and stylish design to your everyday photos

 Fujifilm India Pvt Ltd, today, announced the launch of its new analog instant camera instax SQUARE SQ6’ as a new addition to the instax series of instant camera lineup, which allows users to enjoy on-the-spot photo printing. The instax SQ6 is compatible with stylish square format films. The various shooting functions, simple stylish design, and the square format prints make the SQ6 the absolute style statement. The camera can be taken anywhere, ensuring you never miss a precious moment.

Price: INR 9,999/
Available in three attractive colors : Pearl White, Blush Gold, Graphite Gray

The instax SQUARE SQ6 has a variety of functions that will curate a unique experience for the users.Automatic exposure adjustment feature is one of them that gets activated when the shutter button is pressed. It detects the ambient brightness and adjusts to provide the optimum shutter speed and flash light intensity. Even in a dark room, subjects and the background can be shot vividly and clearly.

To meet the needs of selfie lovers, the camera comes with a selfie mode that automatically adjusts brightness and focal length to the ideal level for capturing best selfie images. The self-shot mirrorattached to the side of the lens allows user to check the shooting range.

An inimitable addition to this instax is the tripod holes, at the bottom of the unit and a timer that can be useful for taking group photos.

Furthermore, to add appropriate drama to the picture, this camera has three modes. The “Double Exposure Mode” allows two photos to be overlapped on a single film when the shutter button is pressed twice, the “Macro Mode” can take short-range photos up to a minimum of 30cm, and the “Landscape Mode” can be used to take long-range landscape photos. It also includes three flash color filters (orange/purple/green) that once placed over the flash will change the color of the overall photo, allowing the user to achieve a more unique and textured photo.

Commenting on the occasion Mr. Haruto Iwata, Managing Director, Fujifilm India Pvt. Ltd. Said, “Our Instax range is a unique product which has come a long way since its launch 10 years ago. The Sales Volume Trend for Instax has crossed 7.7 Million units globally in FY 2017 which clearly indicates its success worldwide. We are very excited to welcome the all new SQ6 with a host of versatile functions. The new product has been designed keeping in mind the ever changing preferences of the Indian youth, offering unique features to complement their needs. Our instax range has always found appreciation among the youth and we are sure that like its predecessors, SQ6 will also be applauded by these young customers.”

The camera comes in three color variations, pearl white to suit any style, blush gold for an elegant touch, and graphite gray for a cool and calm feel. The ring around the lens has a metallic finish and is matched to the color of the main unit. The knurled surface not only makes the camera easy to hold but is also adds a sense of sophistication. 

Fujifilm established in 1934 has believed in Innovation and creation of new values through leading edge and proprietary technologies. FUJIFILM India as a firm believer in sophistication continues to work hard to provide the Indian consumer the best products and services.

Their corporate slogan is “Value from Innovation.”
Along with expressing Fujifilm's commitment to continuously creating innovative technologies, products and services that empower the potential and expand the horizons of tomorrow's businesses and lifestyles, the slogan also encapsulates the company's desire to combine our own original technology with human resources, expertise and technology from around the world both internally and externally to create innovation. A new brand statement has also been created to articulate these commitments more specifically, and the slogan encapsulates the main points of the brand statement.

Our Goal is to be a company that is able to resolve a diverse variety of the problems that face society, contribute to the world through the continuous creation of value – added products and services, and achieve sustainable growth through constant innovation. That was the commitment we made to the world when we launched our new corporate slogan “Value from Innovation”.

OSH South India 2018 and SAFE 2018 commence their Maiden Editions in Hyderabad

Two uniquely designed Expos focussed on Occupational Safety and Health, and Security and Surveillance by UBM India

UBM India, India's leading exhibition organizer, launched the 5th edition of the Occupational Safety & Health (OSH) South India Expo (28-29 June, 2018) as well as the 4th edition of the Security and Fire Expo (SAFE)  South India (28th - 30th Junefor the first time in Hyderabad today. Held at the Hitex Exhibition Center, the expos brought together internationally renowned exhibitors, consultants, industry experts and key government officials on a single platform from the Indian and the international industries.

Speaking on the occasion of the maiden launch of OSH South India and SAFE South India in Hyderabad, Mr. Yogesh Mudras, Managing Director, UBM India said, “Governments all over the world recognize the importance of a safe and a healthy environment for citizens and firmly believe that without these vital components,  social justice and economic growth cannot be achieved. Besides, education, training, consultation and exchange of information and good practices are essential for prevention and promotion of such measures. Through OSH South India 2018 and SAFE South India 2018, we have provided an opportunity for stakeholders across the health, safety and security industries to showcase their innovations and technology, understand new industry trends, network and create new business connections. This is an industry that banks on newer and improved technological innovations on a constant basis. Naturally, there is an immense growth potential along with the learning and networking opportunities for suppliers and service providers at these expos.”

“Notably, for the first time since their inception, the co-located OSH and SAFE expos for South India have been brought to Hyderabad this year as a strategy to rotate them across the several key Indian cities in South India. This move also aims to bring the expos closer to the end-user community and spread awareness across this region on Health & Safety best practices. The response we have got here has been extremely encouraging.” He further added.

OSH South India 2018:
 OSH South India 2018 saw an inaugural ceremony attended by Chief Guest --  Sri B. R. V. Susheel Kumar, IAS, Director of Mines and Geology, Government of Telangana along with key dignitaries -- Mr. Hemant Sapra, President, Safety Appliances Manufacturers Association ( SAMA ); Sr. S.P, Garg, Executive Director – Corporate HSE, Gas Authority of India Ltd.; Sr C. Laxiprasadh, Addl. Director, Telangana State Disaster Response & Fire Services, Hyderabad; Sr M. Vijay Kumar, Director of Boilers, Govt of Telangana; Mr. Pankaj Jain, Group Director, UBM India and Mr. Yogesh Mudras, Managing Director, UBM India  amidst an august industry gathering.

Supported by associations like Safety Appliances Manufacturers Association ( SAMA ) IPAF, Indian Technical Textile Association Indian Society of Ergonomics and other Safety Training institutes, OSH South India 2018 brought together over 80 plus prominent safety brands. Key Participants included players such as Venus Health & Safety, Acme Safetywears Limited, Draeger Safety India Pvt. Ltd., Indomax, Midas Safety Pvt. Ltd., Motorola Solutions India Pvt. Ltd., NIST Institute Pvt. Ltd., Oil & Gas Plant Engineers (I) Pvt. Ltd., Oshkosh India  Pvt. Ltd., Prolite Autoglo Limited, Rupa Enterprises, to name a few.

OSH also includes a two-day conference including workshops focussing on the significance and business benefits of investing in the health and safety of the workforce and in-turn, the health of its own organization and the economy at large. The seminars focused on topics like Fire Safety Strategies, Hazards to Workers’ Health and Solutions, Challenges in Implementing Laws and Legislation Related to OSH in India, Redefining Mindsets in the Construction Industry Regarding OSH, etc. UBM India has also strategically tied up with prime organisations such as the International Power Access Federation (IPAF) that is holding an IPAF Operator Training Program while the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) will hold a workshop on 'Indian Standards on Occupational Safety and Health' along with the main conference on Day 2.

SAFE South India 2018:
 Alongside OSH, UBM India also launched the 4th edition of SAFE South India 2018 at Hitex today. SAFE was Inaugurated by -- Sri T.V. Sashidhar Reddy, IPS, Addl. Director, RBVRR (Telangana State Police Academy) and Mr. R Nanda Kumar, President, Electronic Security Association of India among other key dignitaries.

SAFE 2018 brought together over 70 renowned Indian and international brands from surveillance, entrance and home automation industry, as well as consultants, business experts and key government officials from the industry to congregate, interact, network, view the latest innovations, source business solutions and gather invaluable expert support, all under one roof. The expo is supported by the Electronic Security Association of India (ESAI) and Asian Professional Security Association (APSA).

Some of the key exhibitors present at SAFE India 2018 included Mark Electronics Corporation, Timewatch Infocom Pvt. Ltd., RoadPoint Ltd., N S Enterprises, ACJ Computronix, Advance Infotech, WYSE Biometrics Systems Pvt. Ltd., Mantra Softech (I) Pvt. Ltd., Matrix Comsec Pvt. Ltd., Prama hikvision India Pvt. Ltd., Pictor Telematics Pvt. Ltd., Axestrack Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd., R G International, Lana Technologies Private Limited, Tekno Electro Solutions (P) Ltd., Face ID Systems LLP, HiFocus Electronics India Pvt. Ltd., Enterprise Software Solutions Lab Pvt. Ltd., Futureeye Global Technologies, CAMTECH Solutions, Dahua Technology India Pvt. Ltd., Vamo Systems Pvt. Ltd., etc.

The event also organized a unique conference on the first day focusing on in-depth speaker sessions and panel discussions on ‘Corporate Risk Management’, ‘Key Strategies and Technologies to Mitigate Threats’, ‘Bolstering Security of a New-Age City’, ‘The Changing Role of a CSO in Crisis Management’ and ‘Threat of Cyber Attacks on Security & Surveillance Systems’.

About UBM Asia
UBM Asia recently became part of Informa PLC, a leading B2B information services group and the largest B2B Events organiser in the world. Please visit for more information about our presence in Asia.

About OSH South India and SAFE South India 2018:
OSH South India and SAFE South India are organised by UBM, which in June 2018 combined with Informa PLC to become a leading B2B information services group and the largest B2B Events organiser in the world. Please visit for more information about our presence in India.


Scouting for India is the first edition of the latest Vogue Talents, the Vogue Italia platform, initiative in partnership with FAD Institute of Luxury Fashion & Style that was aimed at giving Indian Fashion a sustained global visibility on the global stage.
For the first time, a new generation of Indian designers comprising of Dhruv Kapoor, Ruchika Sachdeva (Bodice), Sidharth Sinha (NS GAIA) Nitin Kartikeya (Kartikeya India), Urvashi Kaur, Nimish Shah (Shift) Archana Rao, Bav Tailor, Shyma Shetty & Pranav Mishra (Huemn), Saaksha & Kinni and a special initiative by Hothur Foundation unveiling a collective designed by acid attack survivors was unveiled over a two day exhibit at the Palladium Mumbai as the official host to the event.
A jury comprising of Sara Sozzani Maino, Shivang Dhruva and Anaita Adajania Shroff selected  a winning designer to showcase the collection during Milan Fashion Week in September 2018. The winner was announced at FAD and Vogue Talents Gala Dinner hosted at The St Regis Mumbai which was attended by the India’s leading designers, industry insiders, celebrities, and socialites.
The winning designer brand was Huemn by designers Shyma Shetty & Pranav Kirti.
“The new generation of talents is our future and to support them is fundamental!” says Sara Sozzani Maino, Deputy Editor in Chief Vogue Italia & Head of Vogue Talents.
“ We have been investing into future of Indian fashion and we are delighted to have partnered with Vogue Talents ( Italy ) to unveil Scouting for India and support a new wave of Indian fashion talents. We have been working on the project for over two years and we are ecstatic to finally see it come to life” quote Shivang Dhruva, Founder & Director, FAD Institute of Luxury Fashion & Style.
The first edition, which was recently unveiled, also gave over 40 emerging Indian designers an opportunity to engage with Ms. Sara Sozzani Maino, Deputy Editor in Chief of Vogue Italia and Head of Vogue Talents for an exclusive mentoring at FAD Mumbai Campus followed by a feature in Vogue Talents issue.

On hosting this prestigious event, Mr. Rajendra Kalkar, President (West), The Phoenix Mills Limited said “The Scouting For India Project which is an initiative of Vogue Talents in collaboration with FAD, we are honored to be hosting this event for the upcoming Indian Designers who will be getting a global recognition in future. We wish all the very best to all the finalists and hope to see a fantastic show!”

‘Bandhan Jewels’ to revolutionize jewellery retail in the country

 Bandhan Jewels a new multi-brand jewellery retail chain got launched in Mumbai. The new retail chain will retail generic jewellery and top brands in India like Being Human Jewellery, Farah Khan Fine Jewellery, Kisna Diamond Jewellery & Rio Tinto Diamonds. This pioneering concept of a combination of generic and branded jewellery in a retail chain is a first in the country.   
Speaking on the development, Prasad Kapre, CEO & Director, Style Quotient Jewellery Private Limited said, “We are actually linking the top brands of the country and the best manufacturers in the category to the last mile retailer in a very cost-effective way. The platform is unique because it brings mid-sized retailers together and gives them operational efficiencies of national and international brands; allowing them at the same time to sell generic Value For Money jewellery. In this manner, the associated retailers can compete with local jewellers in their area and offer a variety to the customers making them a one-stop-shop.” This development also works out for brands and manufacturers to reach out to customers without having to invest in retail infrastructure.

Bandhan Jewels store would be supported by technology in terms of e-catalog, virtual inventory system, and other modern retail practices. Santosh Srivastava, President – Sales & Business Development, Style Quotient said; “We have added top brands of the country like Being Human Jewellery, Farah Khan Fine Jewellery, Kisna and Rio Tinto Diamonds to Bandhan Store; we will soon bring in more International Brands so that the Indian consumer in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities are presented with exquisite jewellery options at their doorstep.”

Bandhan Jewels target middle and upper-middle-class consumer segments. 
Saurabh Gadgil, M.D. of PNG Jewellers and Director, Style Quotient Jewellery said; “In phase one we have identified 10 cities which includes Delhi and Mumbai and then we are looking at other towns such as Bangalore, Lucknow, Bhopal, Raipur, Chandigarh, Patna. Our target is to set 10-15 stores in these towns in the next one year; making Bandhan Jewels a 100+ store chain in five years.”
Parag Shah, CEO, Kisna Diamond Jewellery and Vikram Merchant, Director, Rio Tinto Diamonds who were present at the launch echoed the same sentiments.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) concludes its 3rd Annual Meeting on an optimistic note to raise its lending capacity to boost prosperity and security in the region

 Protectionism practiced by some countries likely to dim prospects for all countries globally . India believes in globalization and has opened its economy in every single sector . Make in India is about laying emphasis on manufacturing, not protectionism: NITI Aayog CEO                                                                                                                             

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) concluded its third Annual Meeting on a high note to improve connectivity within the region and in turn enable citizens in the region to reach their potential and enjoy prosperity and security.

“Asian developing countries now account for 60% of global growth while roughly two-thirds of global trade is part of value chains passing through Asia. Unfortunately, protectionism practiced by some countries is likely to dim the prospects for all countries in the world, including themselves,” said Mr Jin Liqun, President, AIIB. 

Participating in a panel discussion during the day, Amitabh Kant, Chief Executive Officer, NITI Aayog, pointed out that “Make in India is about laying emphasis on manufacturing in India, not protectionism. India believes in globalization and has opened its economy in every single sector that you can name. As a result, India has stood numero uno in terms of attracting foreign direct investment in the past three years.”
Earlier in the day, Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi called upon the need to deepen India’s engagement with AIIB. In his speech, Prime Minister called upon Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to increase its lending to US$40 billion by 2020 and US$100 billion by 2025 from US$4 billion now.

Quantifying the infrastructure needs of Asian region, Mr Liqun said, “Between now and 2030, Asia’s investment in infrastructure must rise to US$2 trillion a year, or roughly triple of what it has been in the past.”

In summary, AIIB has established a strong corporate culture focused on embedding our core values of being lean, clean and green and a work-place environment free of corruption and harassment, Mr Liqun added.

The Third Annual Meeting of AIIB was attended by over 3,000 delegates from 86 member countries. The Meeting also had several concurrent sessions that discussed critical issues pertaining to environment, low carbon emissions, connectivity through railway network across borders among several others.

Industries Department, Government of Maharashtra is the nodal Department, Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), Government of Maharashtra is the nodal agency, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is the Professional Conference Organiser (PCO), Research and Information Systems for Developing Countries (RIS) is the knowledge partner, for the third Annual Meeting of AIIB.Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) is the Exhibition partner for the third Annual Meeting of AIIB.

For more details on the exhibition, log on to

To know more about Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s Third Annual Meeting log on to:

Hashtag: #AIIB2018

Twitter: @India_AIIBAM3 @AIIB_Official @FinMinIndia  @PIBMumbai & @PIB_India

In the past, AIIB annual meetings were held at Beijing, China in 2016 and Jeju, Republic of Korea in 2017.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia and beyond. Headquartered in Beijing, we commenced operations in January 2016 and have now grown to 86 approved members from around the world. By investing in sustainable infrastructure and other productive sectors today, we will better connect people, services and markets that over time will impact the lives of billions and build a better future.


President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Other Dignitaries on the dais Distinguished Delegates from India and abroad Ladies and Gentlemen

I am happy to be here in Mumbai, for the Third Annual Meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. We are happy to have this opportunity to deepen our engagement with the bank
and its members.

AIIB started its financing operations in January 2016. In less than three years, it has in its fold, 87 members. And a committed capital stock of 100 billion US Dollars. It is poised to play a critical role in Asia.

Friends. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is a result of collaborative efforts of Asian countries to provide a better tomorrow to our people. As developing countries, we share similar challenges. One of them is to find resources for provision of infrastructure. I am happy that the theme of this year’s Meeting is “Mobilizing Finance for Infrastructure: Innovation and Collaboration”. Investments by AIIB in sustainable infrastructure can impact the lives of billions of people.

Asia still faces wide ranging disparities in access to education, healthcare, financial services and formal employment opportunities. Regional multi-lateralism through institutions such as AIIB can
play a central role in helping to raise resources. 

Sectors such as energy and power, transportation, telecom, rural infrastructure, agriculture development, water supply and sanitation, environment protection, urban development, and logistics require long term funds. The interest rates on these funds need to be affordable and sustainable.

In a short period, AIIB has approved 25 projects in a dozen countries with a total financing of over 4 billion US Dollars. This is a good beginning.

With committed capital of 100 billion dollars and huge need for infrastructure in member countries, I take this opportunity to call upon AIIB to expand from financing 4 billion dollars, to 40 billion dollars by 2020 and 100 billion dollars by 2025.

This would require simpler processing, and faster approval. It would also need high quality projects and robust project proposals.

I believe that India and AIIB are both strongly committed to making economic growth more inclusive and sustainable. In India, we are applying novel Public Private Partnership models, Infrastructure Debt Funds, and Infrastructure Investment Trusts to fund infrastructure. India is trying to develop
brownfield assets as a separate asset class for infrastructure investment. Such assets, having passed the stages of land acquisition and environment and forest clearances, are relatively de-risked. Hence, for such assets, institutional investment from pension, insurance and sovereign wealth funds are likely to be more forthcoming.

Another initiative, is the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund. This aims to channel investments from both domestic and international sources into infrastructure. This Fund has received a boost with AIIB committing 200 million US Dollars for investment.

Ladies and Gentlemen. India is one of the most investor-friendly economies in the world. Investors look for growth and macro-economic stability. They want political stability and a supportive regulatory framework to ensure protection of their investment. From the point of larger scale of operations and higher value addition, an investor is also attracted by a large domestic market size,
availability of skilled labour and good physical infrastructure. On each of these parameters, India is well placed and has performed very well. Let me share with you, some of our experiences and achievements.

India has emerged as a bright spot in the global economy which is driving global growth as well. With a size of 2.8 trillion US Dollars, it is the seventh largest in the world. It is the third largest in terms of purchasing power parity. In the fourth quarter of 2017, we grew at 7.7 per cent. In 2018, we are projected to grow at 7.4 per cent.

Our macro-economic fundamentals are strong with stable prices, a robust external sector and a fiscal situation firmly in control. Despite rising oil prices, inflation is within the mandated range. The Government is firmly committed to the path of fiscal consolidation. Government debt as percentage of GDP is consistently declining. India has achieved a rating upgrade after a long wait.

The external sector remains robust. Our foreign exchange reserves of more than 400 billion US dollars provide us enough cushion. Global confidence in India’s economy is rising. Total FDI flows have increased steadily – more than 222 billion US dollars have been received in the last four years. As per UNCTAD’s World Investment Report, India continues to be one of the top FDI destinations in the world.

Ladies and Gentlemen. 
From the point of a foreign investor, India counts as an extremely low risk political economy. The Government has taken a number of steps to boost investment. We have simplified rules and regulations for businesses and undertaken bold reforms. We have provided investors an environment
which is efficient, transparent, reliable and predictable.

We have liberalized the FDI regime. Today, most sectors are on automatic approval route. The Goods and Services Tax is one of the most significant systemic reforms that our country has undergone. It works on  the One Nation - One Tax principle. It reduces tax cascading, increases transparency, and adds to logistics efficiency. All of this makes it easier for the investor to do business in India.

These and other changes have been noticed by the global fraternity. India has jumped 42 places in three years to enter the top hundred in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report 2018.

The size and growth of the Indian market hold much potential. India’s per capita income has doubled in the last ten years. We have over 300 million middle class consumers. This number is expected to double in the next ten years. The size and scale of requirement in India gives the added advantage of economies of scale for investors. For example, the housing programme in India targets ten million houses in urban areas. This would be more than the total requirement of a lot of countries taken
together. Therefore the use of new technology in house construction would have added advantage, if tried in India.

Another example of scale would be the Renewable Energy Programme in India. We have set a target to construct capacity of 175 Giga Watt of renewable energy by the year 2022. Of this, the solar energy capacity will amount to 100 Giga Watt. And we are well on course to exceed these targets. We have added more

capacity to renewable energy than conventional energy in 2017. We are also making collaborative efforts to mainstream solar energy in the form of an International Solar Alliance. The founding conference of the Alliance was held in New Delhi earlier this year. The Alliance aims at a solar capacity of 1000 Giga Watt with an investment of one trillion US Dollars by 2030.

India is working on e-mobility. The challenge before us is of technology, particularly with respect to storage. We will be hosting a global mobility conference this year. I hope that this will help us in moving forward.

In India, we are upgrading connectivity at all levels. The Bharatmala scheme is aimed at improving road connectivity by constructing national corridors and highways. The Sagarmala project has been undertaken for boosting port connectivity, port modernization and port-linked industries. Dedicated
Freight Corridors are being developed to mitigate the congestion of our railway network. The Jal Marg Vikas project would augment capacity of navigation on National Waterways for internal trade carried through inland water transport. Our UDAN scheme works towards regional airport development and improved air connectivity. An area which I believe still remains untapped and needs attention is the possibility of utilising India’s large coastline for transportation and freight movement.

While we talk about the conventional concept of infrastructure, I must mention some of the modern day infrastructure on which India has worked. Bharat Net is targeted at providing last mile internet connectivity in the country. India has over 460 million internet users and 1.2 billion mobile phones in use. We are promoting the use of digital payments. Our United Payments Interface system or UPI along with BHIM App and RuPay Card has shown the true potential of digital economy in India. Through the UMANG App, more than 100 public services have been made available to the citizens through their mobile phone. Our Digital India Mission aims to bridge the rural-urban digital divide.

Agriculture is the lifeline of the Indian economy. We are promoting investments in warehouses and cold chains, food processing, crop insurance and allied activities. We are promoting micro-irrigation to ensure optimal use of water with increased productivity. I would like AIIB to look into potential
investment opportunities in this field and associate with us.

We aim to provide every poor and homeless household a house with toilet, water and electricity by the year 2022. We are also looking at various strategies for effective waste management.

We have also recently launched Ayushman Bharat, our National Health Protection Mission. This will provide a benefit cover of over 7000 dollars annually to more than 100 million poor and vulnerable families. The resulting expansion of health care facilities will lead to the creation of a large number of jobs. This will also promote the production of high quality medicines, consumables and other medical technology equipment. Jobs will also be created for ancillary activities including call centres, research and evaluation and IEC activities. The entire healthcare industry will receive a boost.

Moreover, with the Government assuring healthcare benefits, the savings of a family, can now be better used for other consumption and investment. This increased disposable income in the hands of a poor family would lead to increased demand in the economy. I see great untapped potential in this for

Friends. The Indian story of economic resurgence closely mirrors that of many other parts of Asia. Now, the continent finds itself at the centre of global economic activity. It has become the main growth engine of the world. In fact, we are now living through what many have termed the ‘Asian Century’.

A ‘New India’ is rising. It is an India that stands on the pillars of economic opportunity for all, knowledge economy, holistic development, and futuristic, resilient and digital infrastructure. We look forward to our continued engagement with our development partners including AIIB.

In conclusion, I hope that the interactions in this forum will be fruitful and enriching for all.

Thank you.

[ Press release from Perfect Relations ]