PUNE: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) will have to prove its financial worth if the city is selected as one of the participants in the smart cities programme.
In an official statement, the Union urban development department has said that cities that will be part of the programme will be required to match the Centre's contribution for the development of city and mobilize additional resources required from various sources including the private-public partnership (PPP) model. Accordingly, the Centre, states and urban local bodies will spend about 1 lakh crore on development of smart cities over the next five years.
The mission to build 100 smart cities was approved by the Union cabinet on April 29, 2015. Under this mission, the central government will spend Rs 48,000cr over the next five years to provide an assistance of Rs100cr to each city selected under the programme every year.
Mayor Dattatraya Dhankawde has written to the Centre saying that Pune should be included in the programme. "Pune is among the most unique cities in the country with engines for growth like core industry, defence, education, IT & ITES. And to top it all, it is also the cultural capital of Maharashtra," the letter stated.
However, if the city gets selected for the programme, the PMC will have to set aside special funds for utilization under the Smart Cities Mission. The general body of the PMC has approved an annual civic budget of Rs 4,479.50cr for the 2015-16 fiscal and set the local body tax (LBT) revenue target at Rs 1,495.58cr.
"However, once LBT is scrapped, the civic body will have to depend on the state government to fill this huge revenue gap that constitutes about 40% of the total civic budget revenue plan. In this case, the PMC will have to tap other revenue resources," said deputy mayor Aba Bagul.
In the first phase of the selection of smart city aspirants, each state will nominate a set of cities based on urban population and number of statutory cities for inclusion under the Smart Cities Mission. This nomination will be based on a set of identified criteria to be suggested by the ministry of urban development. All such 100 nominated cities will be rigorously scrutinized against identified criteria for extending financial support by the Centre. Cities which are found to be deficient in some aspects would be given time to address the same and participate in the next round of competition.