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11th Plan: Rs 50,000 cr for urban development

April 07, 2006 17:19 IST

The United Progressive Alliance government has earmarked Rs 50,000 crore (Rs 500 billion) for Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission during the 11th Five-Year Plan period, Union Urban Development Minister S Jaipal Reddy said in Hyderabad on Friday.

Inaugurating the two-day "Cityscapes 2006-Convention on Urban Infrastructure Reforms with Public-Private Linkages," organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Jaipal Reddy said the JNNURM, launched on December 3 last, has two sub-missions, namely, urban infrastructure and governance under the ministry of urban development, and basic services to the urban poor, under the ministry of urban employment and poverty alleviation.

He said that under the JNNURM, reform-linked central assistance would be provided to seven cities with 4 million-plus population, 28 cities with 1 million-plus population and 28 other culturally and historically significant cities with tourist importance.

The identified cities have to prepare city development plans (CDPs), investment plans and detailed project reports (DPRs) and submit them to the central government through the state government.

Funds under the JNNURM are proposed to be released by the central government as additional central assistance  (100 percent central grant) to the state government or its designated state level agencies.

Jaipal Reddy said that the central government has received 21 CDPs out of which 15 were appraised. Memoranda of Agreement for Reform have been signed with nine cities. In all, 141 DPRs were received, including 54 from Gujarat, 48 from Andhra Pradesh, 25 from Maharashtra, 10 from Madhya Pradesh and four from Chattisgarh.

MoAs have been negotiated with 10 cities and four states. In all, 24 projects have been approved with an outlay of Rs 864 crore (Rs 8.64 billion). The central government's contribution would be Rs 367 crore (Rs 3.67 billion) and already the first instalment of Rs 90 crore (Rs 900 million) has been released.

Hailing some cities for best practices, he said,"Nagpur and Pune carried out detailed exercise before drawing up CDPs. Excellent CDPs were also received from Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Vadodara and Surat. DPRs submitted by Nagpur, Indore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Rajkot are good.

"Consensus has been evolved on implementation of reforms. Maharashtra has agreed to repeal Urban Land Ceilings Regulation Act within one and a half years. All cities have agreed to graduate to full recovery of operation and maintenance costs."

However, he lamented that some states and cities were not forthcoming with CDPs and DPRs.

He said that in the post-independence era, while the country's population grew three times, the urban population grew five times.

In other words, urban India was growing at twice the rate of rural India. Ninety per cent of the country's taxes are generated from urban areas but the higher population growth has put strain on urban infrastructure and services.

The Union minister said the reforms envisaged under the JNNURM included repeal of Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act, reform of rent control laws balancing the interests of landlords and tenants, implementation of the 74th Constitution Amendment Act and the enactment of public disclosure law and community participation law.

The reforms also aimed at rationalisation of stamp duty to bring it down to no more than five per cent within the next five years, reform of property tax with GIS so that it becomes a major source of revenue, levy of reasonable user charges (full recovery of 100
percent O&M charges), accrual0-based double entry system of accounting and introduction of systems of e-governance using IT applications like GIS and MIS for various services provided by urban local bodies.

Among other things, the reforms also envisage assigning elected ULBs with city planning function, internal earmarking within local body budgets for basic services to the urban poor, provision of basic services to urban poor, including security of tenure
at affordable prices, improved housing, water supply, sanitation and ensuring delivery of other already existing universal services of the government for education, health and social security. 

Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad