The Union Cabinet has cleared Central government’s spending of nearly Rs. 1,00,000 crore which would include Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream project of building 100 smart cities across the country. This would also include a new urban renewal mission named after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee replacing the existing one named as Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
As per the sources in the Urban Development Ministry, the meeting, chaired by PM Modi, approved the Smart Cities Mission for development of 100 smart cities and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) of 500 cities, with outlays of Rs. 48,000 crore and Rs. 50,000 crore, respectively.
Each selected city under the ambitious scheme would get Central assistance of Rs. 100 crore a year for five years. The mission aims to release funding depending on multi-pronged progress of the projects and makes citizen participation an integral part of the planning of these cities.
Urban Development Ministry sources said the States get the flexibility of designing schemes based on the needs of identified smart cities and in their execution and monitoring.
“States will only submit State Annual Action Plans to the Centre for broad concurrence based on which funds will be released. In a significant departure from JNNURM, the Central Government will not appraise individual projects,” the sources said.
Top Ministry sources said the two projects together would get at least Rs. 200,000 crore in the next five years because the cities are expected to raise their own matching resources.
The Cabinet also approved Central funding under AMRUT to the projects sanctioned under JNNURM and not completed. JNNURM projects sanctioned during 2005-2012 and which have achieved physical progress of 50 per cent or more will be supported till March 2017.
Nearly 400 such projects will get balance funding for completion. Smart City aspirants will be selected through a ‘City Challenge Competition’ intended to link financing with the ability of the cities to achieve the mission objectives.
Each State will shortlist a certain number of smart city aspirants as per the norms to be indicated and they will prepare smart city proposals for further evaluation for extending Central support.
A Ministry official said 10 per cent of Budget allocation will be given to States and UTs as incentive based on achievement of reforms during the previous year. A reform matrix with timelines would be circulated to States in the guidelines.