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New frontier for Modi’s $5 trillion dream: How UN’s noble development goals may help India get closer

Pratishtha Nangia

Massive investments required into meeting the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals may not just earn India praise for inclusive growth, but may also help bring the nation a step closer towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi's $5-trillion economy goal. Investments to be made towards development in sustainable ways as laid out by the United Nations will provide a great many opportunities to the private sector, eventually likely feeding into economic growth. India needs $2.64 trillion in investments by 2030 to meet its SDGs, said Standard Chartered in its SDG Investment Map. This offers the private sector an opportunity of $1.12 trillion.

Private players can focus on contributing three infrastructure-focused goals, which include clean water and sanitation, affordable clean energy, and industrial innovation along with infrastructure. "Opportunity 2030 provides an important map of the SDG opportunities for private sector investors looking to invest with impact and improve the lives of millions of Indians over the next decade," Bharat Padmanabhan, MD, Regional Head – Corporate Institutional Banking, ASEAN & South Asia, Standard Chartered said. According to Standard Chartered, the opportunity for the private sector is around $10 trillion across the world. Further, "India represents $1.124 trillion of SDG opportunity or more than 10 per cent of the $9.668 trillion opportunities for private sector investors across all emerging markets to help achieve the UN goals," the report said.

Meanwhile in India, leading industrialists are looking at sustainable environment-friendly measures. Shloka Nath, who leads the sustainability portfolio at Tata Trusts recently said, "We have a chance to clean up the air, steward our water supply, as well as bring clean jobs of the future to India if we act together and invest in the policies, people, and organisations that promote climate-friendly changes we all need to make. Our response to the climate crisis is going to be a uniquely Indian story." Not only Tata, but industry leaders, such as Anand Mahindra Ratan N Tata, Rohini Nilekani, Aditi and Rishad Premji, and Nadir Godrej among others are stepping out to take effective actions for making environmental sustainability better.