Fund crunch may hit plans
The Narendra Modi government’s pet projects, Smart Cities and Swachh Bharat Mission in urban areas, could face funding cuts in the 2016-17 fiscal. The urban development (UD) ministry has sought Rs 100 billion for its plan to enlist 40 cities…

The Narendra Modi government’s pet projects, Smart Cities and Swachh Bharat Mission in urban areas, could face funding cuts in the 2016-17 fiscal.

The urban development (UD) ministry has sought Rs 100 billion for its plan to enlist 40 cities in 2016-17 for the Smart City programme besides providing funds for the 20 cities selected last year.

But sources told The Hindustan Times that the ministry is likely to get around only Rs 31.50 billion.

An official said while Rs 20 billion would be due in 2016-17 for the 20 selected cities, Rs 80 billion would be due for the 40 cities to be selected in the new fiscal. This comes to Rs 100 billion.

The Swachh Bharat programme in urban areas could face funds crunch as well because the finance ministry may give Rs 20 billion — Rs 30 billion less than what was sought by the UD ministry overseeing the cleanliness drive.

The overall budget of the UD ministry — which oversees the implementation of Smart Cities and Swachh Bharat in urban areas and urban infrastructure modernisation programmes — may increase to Rs 180 billion or a 6.9 per cent jump up from Rs 168.32 billion in the previous fiscal.

Officials said this is not enough to meet requirements of the slew of big-ticket urban modernisation programmes rolled out by the ministry.

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