Smart Cities Eye Funding

As there is need of huge funds to develop Smart Cities in the Country, the Union Government has identified new sources for financing the infrastructure projects in 100 Plus Smart Cities.

Odisha has two Smart Cities and proposals are being prepared for receiving finance.
Rajiv Gauba, Secretary Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) has written to the State Government about the new sources of external funding for the Smart Cities as they have started sending several project proposals to the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) for processing.
Mr.Gauba said that  while Gujarat has taken the lead in presenting proposals are receiving approval for funding over Rs.4505 Crore, several States are moving ahead in this direction.
Under this backdrop, Ministry has identified new agencies like National Investment Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) Pooled Municipal Debt Obligation (PMDO) HUDCO, New Development Bank (NDB) as well as KfW, ADB, JICA and others.
Bhubaneswar being the No.1 Smart City of the Country, it is also leading from the front and is moving ahead while preparing the project proposals and receiving the finance.
Rourkela is also forming the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for taking up projects and will be posing soon for funding, sources said.
Mr.Gauba said that the Samrt City Mission Proposals (SCP) envisage leveraging of the Government Grants by 2.5 to 3 times by the SPV. And MoUD has taken a number of steps to facilitate leveraging and enable the SPVs get additional funds from external sources.
So both the SPVs of Bhubaneswar and Rourkela Smart Cities will have to tap the additional sources of financing and submit proposals to DEA, said sources.
NIIF has been set up by Government of India with a corpus fund of Rs.40,000 Crore  and financing of both Greenfield and Brownfield projects in infrastructure sector are being taken up for financing.
Commercially viable proposals are needed to be posed to NIIF, said Mr.Gauba.
PMDO has a corpus of Rs.5000 Crore and to avail  funding there is no need of guarantee of the State Government. PMDO will be financing directly to the SPVs and Urban Local Bodies.
NDB has enough funding capabilities and projects under Smart City Mission are being funded by the Bank, said he.
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a new development bank is providing concessional long term financing, which is needed to be tapped.
Similarly, KfW, ADB and World Bank are available for seeking financing, said sources.
Now the Smart City Authorities are to tap these sources as early as possible for faster implementation of the projects, said the official.

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