08 May, 2021

“No Watering Down, PM’s Vision Is Being Made Complete”

Union minister for urban development Venkaiah Naidu on the smart city project and its compatibility with local governments

“No Watering Down, PM’s Vision Is Being Made Complete”

It will take 10-15 years for each of the chosen cities to become ‘smart’, says Union minister for urban development Venkaiah Naidu. He says the special purpose vehicles (SPVs) set up for the cities will have access to more funds, but sidesteps queries over whether they will come into conflict with elected municipal bodies. The minister replies to questions e-mailed by Anoo Bhuyan:

Is the smart city project compatible with the Panchayati Raj Act?

According to mission guidelines, SPVs will be created as limited companies at the city levels as limited companies. They will be created by urban local bodies (ULBs), which will have 50 per cent shareholding in them. So there’s little likelihood of inco­mpatibility or a clash in their roles. SPVs are created under the Companies Act (2013) and the regulatory framework will provide consistency and predictability in project execution, making ULBs/SPVs more accountable. Moreover, SPVs will be able to access internal and external fin­ance more easily, thus enhancing the funds...

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