The absence of a world-class convention centre and the 2019 general elections have prompted the government to give a go-by to hosting the G20 meeting+ , something that it was very keen on, reports Times of India.
In fact, due to the elections, the Narendra Modi administration wanted to host the event — comprising several meetings involving finance ministers, central bank governors and trade and labour ministers leading up to the leaders' summit — in 2018 itself but Argentina was not willing to swap. But with ITPO's revamped Pragati Maidan facility as well as the Global Convention Centre planned by the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMICDC) in Dwarka nowhere in sight, the government decided to wait for a few more years, said sources. As a result, Japan will be the host country in 2019 and India will have to wait a few more years till Asia gets its turn. It will have to compete with Indonesia to be the host, according to sources.
The government is keen to pitch the country into the big league, especially at a time when the Indian economy is seen to be more attractive than that of China. The G20 bid was also aimed at attracting convention traffic to India to create jobs and expand tourism opportunities. "We do not have a world class convention centre yet. The one in Dwarka will take time and then you have the elections in 2019+ . Therefore, it is safe to make a bid to host the 2021 or 2022 meeting," said an official, who did not wish to be identified.
While India has hosted some top global meets, including a meeting of the leaders of the BRICS nations, hosting a G20 meeting would require a world class convention centre and massive infrastructure. Authorities say that the BRICs meeting in the tourist destination of Goa had exposed several gaps and they would not want to hold a G20 meeting without adequate preparations.
"We want to showcase our best and therefore it is better to postpone it and not make a serious bid for the 2019 meeting," the official added. The facilities in Pragati Maidan in the heart of the national capital are also not expected to be ready soon. Hosting the event here would mean putting in place elaborate plans for diverting traffic to ensure smooth movement of leaders and their delegations. Vigyan Bhawan is seen to be inadequate to host a meeting of this scale. It will also require massive security arrangements for some of the most heavily guarded leaders in addition to having parking facilities for several aircraft from 19 countries, including Kenya, Spain and the Netherlands — which are special invitees.
The G20 meet attracts journalists from across the world as well as a large delegation of officials. Former hosts such as Australia and France have opted to have some of the ministerial meetings in other cities, a practice that may be adopted by India, too.