Thirty-four countries, including the US and the UK, have so far evinced interest in investing in the ‘Smart Cities’ project announced by the Centre, Urban Development and Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation M Venkaiah Naidu said here today.
“34 countries have (so far) shown interest in investing in the smart cities. It includes some of the developed countries like United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Singapore and Japan,” said Naidu at the Regional Editors Conference, organised by the Press Information Bureau.
“Japan through its JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) has evinced more interest in investing in solid waste management, upgrading infrastructure,” he added.
The government had announced its plan to develop 20 smart cities that include upgrading basic infrastructure, improving sanitation and solid waste management, efficient urban mobility and public transport among other features.
Chennai, Bhubaneswar, Pune, Coimbatore were included in the first list of the 20 cities.
To a query on the Centre’s ambitious Goods and Services Tax Bill, Naidu expressed the hope that it would be passed in the Winter session of the Parliament.
“I came to know that many states,including Telangana have recently ratified GST Bill. If more than half of the states in India have ratified, then it will go to GST Council. I expect half of the states to ratify by September 10. After the procedures, once it comes to Parliament during the winter session, it may be passed….”, he said.
Queired on the delay in completion of the Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Project, Naidu said it was the responsibility of the Karnataka Government.
“I am not passing the buck. But it is the responsibility of the state government. I have taken personal interest in completion of the project”, he said.