Urban development funds based on states’ performance: Montek

December 3rd, 2010 - 8:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee New Delhi, Dec 3 (IANS) The central government Friday said that funds under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), to fast track planned development of urban infrastructure and basic services, would be allocated according to the performance of the states.

Speaking on completion of five years of the programme, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, said: “Performance of states on reforms linked to the mission was not encouraging, and future allocation to the states would be strictly linked to performance on the reforms side.”

He was of the opinion that central support to programmes like construction of metro, roads and bridges should also be linked to the reforms.

“The cost of providing expected level of services in the urban areas is going to be so big that government funds would be just insufficient and private sector has to be engaged in this task,” Ahluwalia added.

Minister of Urban Development S. Jaipal Reddy urged the states to speed up reforms proposed under the programme and that significant achievements had been made under the programme and more was to be achieved in coming years.

“Basic amenities created under JNNURM have helped to improve the living standards of common men especially poor sections of society by providing better drinking water facilities, improved sewerage and approach roads,” said Reddy.

According to the minister, Rs.11,859.63 crore for 527 projects under JNNRUM had been allocated by the central government and he would request more funds under the scheme to take up more projects.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said that investment for providing basic amenities cannot come through central government support only.

“State governments along with urban local bodies should not only prepare themselves to meet growing demand in this respect but also exhibit political will to involve private sector in a big way,” Mukherjee said.

The day-long conference convened to review implementation of JNNURM was attended by the urban development ministers’ from states, mayors of JNNURM cities, municipal commissioners, senior officials of the central government and the state governments.

On the occasion awards were also presented to the cities for outstanding performance in the implementation of JNNURM project and other reforms.

Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) was launched on the 3rd December 2005 for reforms driven and fast track planned development of urban infrastructure and basic services in 65 mission cities. In addition schemes for Urban
Infrastructure Development for small and medium towns and integrated housing and slum development were also initiated under the JNNURM.

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