Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Smart City Mission to bind urban local bodies to financial discipline

The Smart City Mission driven by the Center would bind urban local bodies to financial discipline and accountability.

The Ministry of Urban Development in a note said the 98 State-nominated urban development bodies, which were competing for Smart City Mission funding, would have to “develop bankable proposals”.

In order to arrange the appropriate amounts and types of funding for the smart city plan, the urban bodies “must keep financial considerations” in mind, the note said. The Ministry said innovative means of project funding would be necessary.

Final proposals from the local bodies should include financing through self-generation, use of other Government scheme-related funds, and market borrowing.

According to Babul Supriyo, Minister of State for Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, the local bodies, which were now vying for involvement in the Smart City projects, should be ready to realign their tax revenue structure with the cost of added services.

The Ministry has also asked the local bodies to mention financial hand-holding organizations such as World Bank, ADB, JICA, USTDA or DFID, as well as private partners and service vendors.

The urban bodies have also been asked to follow key performance indicators such as the past three years’ track record for collection of water, sewerage user charges, and property tax as percentage of current annual demand.

The note specifically seeks citizens' engagement at the proposal stage for eliciting their support and reduction of potential conflict.

The local bodies have to place before the citizens best practices and smart solutions developmental challenges and record their response on the applicability. Citizens’ inputs are to be incorporated in the final proposal. If any citizens’ suggestion is rejected, the urban bodies have to record the explanations.

Source: PropertyatNeoDevelopers.Wordpress.Com

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