Housing for the poor, getting more funds and adding more cities to the central government funded urban renewal program are among the proposals that the ministry of urban development proposes to tackle in the first hundred days.
The ministry administers a significant portion of the Rs500 billion Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), which provides grants to cities provided they undertake mandatory reforms. The ministry proposes to increase the size of the program from Rs1 trillion of investments to Rs1.5 trillion , of which the central government would have to contribute Rs25,000 crore.
“I have mentioned the issue to the finance minister (Pranab Mukherjee). I am going to pursue this. A modest estimate is, we need Rs50,000 crore (Rs500 billion) more. The ministry also proposes to increase the number of cities that are eligible for the grants from the current 65 to 93 by allowing cities that have populations of five lakh to apply for grants,” said union urban development minister S. Jaipal Reddy.
The ministry will also try to organize assistance in procurement of such buses in 118 cities with a population of two lakhs or more. The ministry has also requested the finance ministry to remove excise duty on buses.