Home News “Digital Transformation, Infrastructure Our Priorities”: G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant

“Digital Transformation, Infrastructure Our Priorities”: G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant


Mr Kant was delivering the Keynote Address at the NDTV conclave.

New Delhi:

India’s G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant laid out a positive, ambitious agenda for the country’s presidency of the prestigious grouping and said that while the world is full of challenges, India sees them as an opportunity.

Delivering the Keynote Address at the NDTV Conclave today, Mr Kant said India’s priorities during its presidency and the G20 meeting next month will be a focus on digital transformation, infrastructure building and women-led development.

“During G20, our ambition, as the Prime Minister has said, is to be inclusive, decisive, ambitious, and action-oriented. In most countries, the G20 is held in one city, or two cities. Unlike the football world cup in Qatar or the cricket world cup, G20 is through the year. Therefore, we used this opportunity to take G20 out into every single state of India,” the G20 Sherpa said. 

Mr Kant said India has covered over 60 cities and used this opportunity to improve infrastructure in those places. “Every single citizen of India was involved in G20 in some manner or the other and, for the first time, foreign policy and diplomacy reached every single household of India. The presidency is being hosted at a time when India is the fifth-largest economy in the world and is likely to be the third-largest economy by 2027,” he said. 

Listing out some of India’s achievements, Mr Kant said a lot had been done in the last seven to eight years. “We’ve built about 40 million houses, which is like making a house for every Australian. We’ve made about 110 million toilets, which is like making a toilet for every single citizen of Germany. We have provided 223 million piped water connections, which is like providing a water connection to every citizen of Brazil,” he said. 

“We have made 55,000 km of road. And, during the Covid period, we have provided Covid vaccination, almost paperless, to 2.2 billion people of India… As the Bank of International Settlements has said, the digital transformation story of India, we do about 46% of the real fast time payments in the world. We do 11x of what USA and Europe do, we do 4x of what China does. What we have achieved in seven years is equivalent to what India would have achieved in 50 years,” he added.

Speaking of India’s priorities for the G20, the Sherpa said the first is that the world must have strong, sustained, balanced and inclusive growth. The second is to accelerate the pace of Sustainable Development Goals, he said, pointing out that only 12 of the 169 SDGs are on track right now. 

The third is climate action and climate finance, Mr Kant said, adding that the world may survive, but we will all go extinct if we don’t live up to the promise of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5-degree Celsius. Pointing to the need for long-term finance for all of this, he said the fourth priority was the redesign and reformulation of multilateral financial institutions set up after World War II. 

“Then, our priority is technological transformation and digital public infrastructure, which India has built up. If you look around the world, four billion people do not have a digital identity, three billion people do not have a bank account. Another priority of our Prime Minister has been women-led development. Women have to be put into positions of leadership so that we can enhance their learning outcomes, improve their health standards and break this vicious cycle of malnutrition,” said Mr Kant.      g20

The G20 Sherpa said India has focused on the Global South, which has a young population and is expected to drive growth. 

“We look forward to the G20 leaders’ summit. Negotiations for the leaders’ statement are on. Every word is hotly contested, it is debated between 20 countries. It is a very tough and arduous task.  But I can assure you that India will more than deliver on G20,” he said.

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