Millennium Post

Govt to give 85 cities credit ratings by March

As many as 85 cities have launched the process of credit rating and the same has been completed in respect of 12 cities, the Ministry of Urban Development said on Tuesday. “Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) have got A - rating (positive credit worthy). 

“All these 85 cities (under the initiative of credit rating of urban local bodies) would be given credit rating by March next year. Pune and Ahmedabad are in advanced stage of going for municipal bonds,” it said.

Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday took a review of progress on different missions under the ministry. Naidu also directed the officials to follow up with states and urban local bodies (ULBs) regularly to ensure that all ULBs get credit rating at the earliest which is necessary to float municipal bonds for mobilising resources.

As a part of handholding the states and ULBs for speedy execution of projects under new missions, the ministry has identified sources of funds from various domestic and multi-lateral lending agencies which includes Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank ($ 5 billion), Asian Development Bank ($ 1 billion), Japanese International Cooperation Agency ($ 500 million), BRICS Bank ($ 500 million per city), AFD (€100-200 million), the statement said, adding that HUDCO is likely to support smart cities mission with Rs 10,000 crore.

Naidu was informed that in addition to 68 projects that were launched in 14 smart cities in June this year, another 134 projects have been identified of which 114 projects are under bidding. While the first batch of all 20 smart cities has set up Special Purpose Vehicles, the 13 cities under fast track round would do so by the end of September, the statement added. As against plan allocation of Rs 21,000 for 2016-17, the Ministry of Urban Development has incurred an expenditure of Rs 14,725 crore till August this year, it said. The speedy implementation of new urban missions launched last year has resulted in the Urban Development Ministry spending 70 per cent of plan funds for 2016-17 during the last five months of the current financial year.

Naidu expressed satisfaction over the ministry approving an investment of Rs 1.24 lakh crore for improving basic urban infrastructure, which includes Rs 78,000 crore investments under Smart City Plans of 33 cities and another Rs 45,935 crore under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT). 
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