States and cities will be encouraged to undertake urban planning reforms and actions to transform cities into ‘sustainable cities of tomorrow’. This means efficient use of land resources, adequate resources for urban infrastructure, transit-oriented development, enhanced availability and affordability of urban land, and opportunities for all. This was stated by Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the Union Budget 2023-24 in the Parliament here today.
Urban Infrastructure Development Fund
Smt. Sitharaman mentioned that an Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (UIDF) will be established through use of priority sector lending shortfall. This will be managed by the National Housing Bank, and will be used by public agencies to create urban infrastructure in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
Making Cities Ready for Municipal Bonds
The Finance Minister said that the cities will be incentivized to improve their credit worthiness for municipal bonds. This will be done through property tax governance reforms and ring-fencing user charges on urban infrastructure.
All cities and towns will be enabled for 100 per cent mechanical desludging of septic tanks and sewers to transition from manhole to machine-hole mode. Enhanced focus will be provided for scientific management of dry and wet waste.
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