The government on Wednesday cleared the decks for construction of world-class exhibition-cum convention centre in the city at Dwarka by approving transfer of 89.72 hectares of land to the DIPP.
The decision to give special directions to the DDA (Delhi Development Authority) to transfer the land to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) for a nominal sum of Re 1 within six weeks was taken by the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"The Cabinet has given its approval for transfer of land measuring 89.72 hectares in Sector 25, Dwarka, New Delhi, free from all encumbrances, to the DIPP for creation of a world class state-of-the-art exhibition-cum Convention centre," an official statement said.
"This is a special case so that directions can be granted to DDA under...The Delhi Development Act, 1957" for transfer of land, it said adding the project is expected to generate spending of over Rs 2 lakh crore per annum after commissioning of the second phase of the project and is estimated to generate over 5 lakh employment opportunities.
Commenting on the decision, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the efforts would be made to complete the project "at the earliest".
"The Cabinet has approved it. Land was the major issue but that has now come. Multi-use is being permitted. PPP model is also being allowed...So the permission obtained through the Cabinet today is to make sure that you have the flexibility to build it with one or the other method - PPP or completely government," Sitharaman told PTI.
Further, the statement said that a committee comprising secretaries from various ministries, including DIPP, Urban Development, Expenditure, DEA and Niti Aayog CEO would steer the project including project structuring and development options in a transparent, competitive manner.
The ownership of the said land will vest in and remain with the DIPP, it said adding the centre would comprise a host of independent facilities like exhibition halls, convention centres, banquet halls, auditoria, arena, financial centre, hotels, food & beverage outlets and retail services.
The national capital does not have a large world-class convention centre to host global conferences. At present, there are two such centres at Vigyan Bhavan and Pragati Maidan that hold global conferences.
Project structuring, initial expenses of non-PPP trunk infrastructure costs will be borne by the government. This may be central government's contribution by way of equity in the project, the statement said.
The project will be developed in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode.
"Permission is also granted to DIPP to lease/sub-lease the land and grant concession to the private entities for development and operation of various facilities. Permission for mixed land use in the project site will be accorded by DDA/ MoUD expeditiously," it said.
The official statement said it is estimated that the proposed exhibition-cum convention centre (ECC) will infuse a demand for more than 100 international and local exhibition events annually.
India currently lacks an integrated world-class facility which can meet the requirements of global exhibition-cum-convention operators in terms of space, project facilities and transportation linkages.
Only a few centres in terms of organised space are available in the country. Pragati Maidan has been the only organised large space for years which too is facing severe capacity and traffic constraints leading to great inconvenience to citizens and visitors to the centre in particular.
Further, the huge constant demand for exhibitions and related activities puts immense pressure on the existing facilities resulting in lesser time available for maintenance to hold large-sized events and maintain international standards.
In order to capitalise on this vast market and to drive India's industry, commerce, trade and tourism, the DIPP has taken the initiative to develop an exhibition-cum-convention centre at Delhi, the statement added.
The development of the facility and supporting components is expected to help increase the share of Asia in terms of number of events to around 15 per cent by 2021.
Development of the ECC and support facilities is estimated to contribute more than one million international delegates based (non-leisure) Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions (MICE) tourism per annum, it said.
It has been estimated that the global MICE market, which supports 400,000 conferences and exhibitions worldwide, is of the size of USD 280 billion and is a significant economic driver for a large number of nations.
The total size of the Asian MICE market accounts for $60 billion having demonstrated a growth of 38 per cent since 2006.
"In the absence of world-class exhibition and conference facilities, India has not benefited from the potential benefits of this development," it said.
Further, it added that the job creation shall not be limited to core ECC facilities but would also entail opportunities for regular formal employment in supporting ECC land uses like retail, office and hospitality.