Keen to host the G-20 Summit in 2018, India is planning to initiate back-channel negotiations with other member countries to get support for its bid.

Sources said the Ministry of External Affairs and India’s Sherpa to the G-20 – Arvind Panagariya, who is also Vice-Chairman NITI Aayog – may be soon asked to send feelers and begin discussions with other member countries.

The government and the Finance Ministry will also make a formal pitch later this year to host the prestigious Summit.

“Ideally, India’s group or bucket of countries under the G-20 can make a bid to host the Summit in 2019. But that will be an election year, so the government is interested in hosting it in 2018,” said a senior official, adding that this is one of the key reasons why support from other member nations is required.

Delhi, may be suggested as the pitched as the venue for the main Summit, said the source, adding other sessions could be held in other cities.

Member nations of the G-20 are divided into five groups or buckets. India is in Group two along with Russia, South Africa and Turkey.

Hosting of the Summit is rotated among the Groups with member nations of each group getting a chance to bid for hosting the Summit. China (Group Five) holds the Presidency for G-20 for 2016, which will move on to Germany (Group Four) in 2017. Turkey was the host for the 2015 summit.

Finance Ministry officials pointed out India already has experience in holding multi-lateral meets. While the International Monetary Fund’s Advancing Asia Conference in Delhi earlier this month, the Eighth BRICS Summit is scheduled to be held in Goa in October.

Infrastructure facilities including hotels and conference halls will be built over the next two years, if India’s bid is accepted, said the official.