The first G20 Infrastructure Working Group meeting under G20 India Presidency concluded on 17th January 2023 in Pune. The meeting was attended by 64 delegates from 18 member countries, 8 guest countries and 8 international organisations. G20 IWG discussed the 2023 Infrastructure Agenda under the Indian G20 Presidency.

The two-day meeting, hosted by the Indian Presidency, discussed the flagship theme of “Financing Cities of Tomorrow- Inclusive, Resilient and Sustainable”, amongst others. The meeting included discussions on various facets of making cities economic centres of growth, financing urban infrastructure, building future-ready urban infrastructure, the role of cities in meeting sustainability targets, directing fiscal investments for unlocking private financing for energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable infrastructure and mitigating social imbalances.

The meeting also discussed other important themes, such as exploring ways to collate the data on Infrastructure spending and make the data useful for the private sector.

On the side-lines, the Pune meeting was also complemented by a High-Level Workshop on “Financing of Cities of Tomorrow” wherein over 15 international experts discussed the issues related to financing of the cities. The Workshop discussed how the cities of tomorrow must tie together their key administrative functions, planning, funding, and financing – to increase private sector participation. Divided into three inter-related sessions, the workshop focused on the infrastructure, and related technical and managerial capacity needs to build the Cities of Tomorrow. The Workshop also discussed how cities and higher governments could prepare themselves to increase private financing for Cities of Tomorrow.

During the IWG meeting, the delegates also had the opportunity to experience the rich cuisine, history and culture of Pune. Overall, the delegates not only had productive meetings but also enjoyed the cultural experiences that Pune had to offer.

The second meeting of the Infrastructure Working Group is scheduled to be held in Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, on 28th and 29th of March, 2023.

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Pune(Maharastra) exemplifies an indigenous Marathi culture and ethos, in which education, arts and crafts, and theatres are given due prominence. It is the birthplace of the poet-saint Tukaram (in Dehu) and Jnaneshvara (in Alandi), the author of the well-known commentary ‘Jnaneshwari’,on the “Bhagavad Gita”. It is the home of great freedom fighters like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Agarkar and Gopal Krishna Gokhale. Jayant Narlikar, the famous contemporary scientist, is from Pune. Pune is the seat of North Indian Classical music. Annually, in the month of December, it hosts a three nightlong cultural program of vocal and instrumental classical music, called “Savai-Gandharva”.Pune has been an example for the blending of the culture and heritage with modernisation and its side effects. Pune is the cultural capital of the Maharashtra..

Pune is globally known for the Osho Ashram which attracts followers from all over the world. Dotted with palaces and temples, the most important of these are the Shaniwar Wada palace and the Aga Khan Palace.